20th January 2018

Showcase Saturdays

Greg Johnston

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Showcase Saturday – Episode #8

Our series of stories continues this evening with Riley’s story told by his mum Nicola:

“On Friday 26th May 2017 I went in to spontaneous labour at 30 weeks + 2 days gestation. I was told I had a 50/50 chance of delivering my baby within the next 2 weeks. My husband and I were hoping the baby would hold on a little longer as 10 weeks was far too soon, but that evening at 20:41 our little boy was born weighing 4lb 14oz, we called him Riley.

I got to hold him briefly before he was whisked off to SCBU at West Cumberland Hospital. Riley had to be transferred over to Sunderland Royal Hospital in the early hours of Saturday 27th May to help him with his breathing. Riley had to be ventilated to help him breathe, he made brilliant progress and was able to breathe on his own by the Sunday morning.

We were over the moon, although he was off the ventilator he still needed warm air pumped around his lungs to help them. Riley’s SATS were dropping so he was put on to low flow oxygen. After 11 days Riley was strong enough to be transferred back to West Cumberland Hospital we were over the moon to be one step closer to getting him home. Whilst Riley was in Sunderland the hospital put us up in the Woodford Williams Lodge, it was only basic but an absolute godsend being miles away from home.

Back at West Cumberland Hospital Riley’s SATS were up and down all the time, he was able to do a couple of hours off his oxygen but then would need to go back on it, he would be exhausted from all the hard work he was putting in to breathing. Riley wasn’t allowed home until his SATS stabilised and he could manage without the oxygen. Riley was in Whitehaven for 5 and a half weeks and still needed oxygen, he just wasn’t able to kick it having chronic lung disease.

Doctors decided to discharge him on home oxygen. Every week Maria from the Community Nursing team came to check on him to make sure he was doing OK and to check his weight and SATS until finally at the start of September we could start the weaning process. We got a SATS monitor provided by Team Evie for us to use at home which meant whilst Riley was in air we could check his oxygen levels. The monitor was a lifesaver for us as it allowed us to check if Riley was struggling or not. At the end of November 2017 Riley finally got the all clear and was able to come off the oxygen completely.

Riley has done and continues to do well…”

Thank you so much to Nicola for sharing her story. It has been incredible to see how well Riley has done, a very special little boy!

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