13th January 2018

Showcase Saturdays

Greg Johnston

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Showcase Saturday – Episode #7

This evening we welcome back our very popular Showcase Saturday feature – for the second half of the first series of stories from families Team Evie have supported. Today is another special one for us… We started Team Evie in October 2015 and provided our first Christmas Book Appeal trolley to PICU that December… Teddy, whose story is told by his mummy Christina below, was admitted to the ward in the January – and the family were one of the first to get in touch with us to thank us for our donations… Therefore we are incredible pleased and proud that Christina was willing to share Teddy’s story with us… over to you Christina!

Teddy came into the world 8 weeks early on 16 November 2015, a perfectly formed little boy. After a fairly smooth month in NICU we brought him home. His 3 year old sister adored him and loved it even more having him at home. We decided to travel north to spend Christmas with my parents. Over the Christmas weeks Teddy carried on flourishing and only suffered a bit of reflux and prolonged jaundice under the treatment level.

Overnight on the 4 January 2016 teddy didn’t wake for milk and neither did I! In the morning he was very sleepy and things didn’t seem right. He was taken straight to the GP who sent us as a precaution to sir James cook hospital in Middlesbrough. During the journey Teddy became much worse and arrived in hospital floppy and in 50% oxygen. Emergency button was pulled and he was quickly ventilated. We were terrified; we had only been sent as precaution. Teddy spent the next 3 days getting worse with his ventilating pressures and oxygen levels increasing. It was eventually diagnosed as RSV Bronchiolitis. We were informed he would turn a corner around day 5 and would soon be off the ventilator. Unfortunately this was not the case for Teddy. After 8 days he became too poorly for the 3 bed PICU to treat and a transfer was requested to The a Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle. Before the transfer we were told that he was very poorly and may not recover and the transfer would take longer to arrange due to how poorly he was.

Thankfully he was transferred safely by NECTAR and the wonderful staff at the RVI made him more comfortable by changing his ventilator and actually reducing his dangerously high pressures.   Time in PICU drifts by watching numbers… But thanks to team Evie (who back in January 2016 had only just started their work) there was a beautiful book trolley filled with books suitable for all ages. I read regularly to both Teddy and my daughter and so did many more parents in a similar situation. It may be a coincidence but over the following 2 weeks Teddy was not recovering and had some particular bad days where he was really struggling to keep his oxygen levels up. I would read to him and his oxygen levels would increase by 1 or 2% which was a much welcomed increase.

After just over 3 weeks Teddy was successfully taken of his ventilator and given oxygen support. We were transferred again by NECTAR to our local hospital in Somerset – whose books supply was nowhere near as good!

Teddy is now 2 and his health has improved through out the 2 years and although he has some catching up to do he is doing extremely well.

I will be forever grateful to Team Evie for supplying a much needed distraction for us and entertainment for my daughter. The work you have done is incredible and makes a real difference to families who are going through what can be only described as a parents worst nightmare. Thank you to everyone who supports Team Evie who are making a real difference to families in difficult situations.