Baby Charlie Collins was born blue and needed resuscitating after he was born nine weeks prematurely on 23 November 2011. Charlie was admitted to the Intensive Care Neonatal Unit where he was placed in an incubator and a machine called a ventilator breathed for him for 28 days.
Parents Lucy and Paul were warned that Charlie was so poorly, that everyday could be his last.
However, Charlie battled all of this, a cardiac arrest and a bleed on his lungs before he was finally well enough to go home 12 weeks later with his own supply of oxygen and medication to help him breathe.
Mum Lucy suffered during her pregnancy with a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum which meant she had extreme sickness. Then on 22 November 2011 she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, the most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications. To save both mother and son, baby Charlie had to delivered by emergency c-section, whilst Lucy was cared for in the High Dependency Unit.
Mum Lucy said: “Routine checks found I have high levels of protein in my urine and a high blood pressure and I was diagnosed with pre-ecamlpsia. For Charlie to be born 30 weeks early and to be so poorly whilst I was recovering in the High Dependency Unit was traumatic but this was just the beginning for us. Every day for 12 weeks we kept a bedside vigil, willing him to get better. There are babies who were being cared for in the same room as Charlie, who were so poorly they didn’t survive. I felt desperately sorry for their parents and there loss really enforced just how close our baby was to the line between life and death.
Dad Paul said: ‘When your baby is born so prematurely you are not sure whether you dare celebrate the birth as during the first 8 weeks we were told on numerous occasions that Charlie may not survive and that isn’t anything to celebrate, Lucy and I felt numb as we were torn between celebrating our new baby and grieving for his possible loss and the traumatic situation. There were times when I thought the day would never come when we could take him home like all the other mums and dads do. We feel blessed to have Charlie and cannot thank the Neonatal Unit team enough.”
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
The road to recovery has began for Charlie. He has but it is not over and Charlie will need home oxygen and medication for some time and will have to attend the hospital for regular check-ups”.
Prakash Satodia, Consultant Neonatologist said: “Charlie was extremely poorly and we were not sure whether he would survive. He was in neonatal intensive care unit where he was on a life support machine for 28 days which is very unusual for a baby born at 30 weeks gestation. We are over the moon that Charlie improved and was able to go home. We wish him and his family the very best for the future.”