18th November 2017

Showcase Saturdays

Greg Johnston

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Showcase Saturday – Episode #2

This evening we bring you the second episode of our Showcase Saturday feature written by the incredible Steven Park – Poppie, Mollie and Evelyn’s dad. This episode of Showcase Saturday is dedicated to Steven’s wife and the triplet’s mum Rachel Park.

Here is their story:

Rachel and I were dumbfounded and astounded when we found out Rachel was expecting triplets!

The girls were born at 26 weeks due to Rachel having preeclampsia. They were born at the RVI in Newcastle and spent almost 4 months in the Special Care Baby Unit there. The girls had a bumpy start in life. Due to their immature lungs they were all ventilated; Poppie was first to come off the ventilator, but sadly she had to be put back on due to her chronic lung disease… Evelyn endured a particularly bumpy ride with the ventilator on its maximum settings and we were told by the consultant there was nothing more could be done for her, we only had time on our side. She had to be resuscitated twice… Mollie also had a bumpy start, with a suspected bowel infection and chronic lung disease.

Between them the girls also face; low blood pressure, high blood pressure, PDA duct, retinopathy of prematurity, numerous infections and blood transfusions. It was an incredibly challenging time for us all…

Despite everything they faced the girls proved to be determined little fighters and all made it home in June 2016. When we got home the girls still had medical needs, all 3 were discharged on home oxygen.

All 3 girls had bronchiolitis and had a week stay at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven. This is where the SATS monitor loaned to us by Team Evie proved to be invaluable. We could check the level of oxygen in the girls’ blood, this was also really useful as an early warning indicator, to spot if one of the girls was deteriorating. If this happened it meant we could take action and get the girls medical attention quickly if needed before anything serious happened. The SATs monitor has also been really useful whilst weaning the girls of oxygen, this process was something not to be rushed, as we slowly reduced the amount of support the girls were getting we could check that they were managing OK with the monitor, and slow the process down if they were struggling.

Due to the girls’ prematurity all 3 suffered from reflux (Poppie and Evelyn also have a cow’s milk allergy and are currently tube fed) this resulted in another 3-week stay at the RVI.

As the girls grew, they slowly made progress, each developing their own little personality. We got all got home for Christmas, after another stay in hospital, where we could finally start being a normal family…

Sadly, Rachel died suddenly and unexpectedly on the 27th December 2016. Our world was torn apart. Rachel idolised her little ladies.

This past 10 months has been a difficult journey for us as a family, but the girls continue to make good progress. The special babies group has been a really useful playgroup for the girls and, thanks to Team Evie, the girls are able to enjoy an environment with other babies with medical needs, without having to explain to people what their tubes are for.

Steven Park

Thank you so much to Steven for sharing his story with us, we know it must have been difficult to sit and write it all down. The Park girls are amazing as are their parents, and we are incredibly proud that we have been able to provide some help and support with Team Evie. x