In April 2013 Tasha and Ryan were so excited to meet their new-born son Cobie. After a planned natural birth at St Michael’s Hospital everything seemed to have gone well, but just hours after Cobie’s arrival nurses noticed he was having difficulty breathing. They decided to move him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for tests.
Cobie was diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a life-threatening condition in which his abdominal contents protruded into his chest. With no space to expand, his lungs couldn’t work properly. Tasha and Ryan were still coming to terms with the news when Cobie underwent emergency surgery at just 3 days old.
Tasha was discharged from hospital the day after Cobie’s surgery, and with nowhere local to stay, was forced to return home to Weston-Super-Mare, over 20 miles away from Cobie.
She said, “It was like leaving my heart behind - that's what it's like when you have to leave your baby.”
But then Tasha received some great news: there was a room available for her at Cots for Tots House, directly opposite the Hospital, where she could stay for the next 4 weeks while Cobie recovered.
“I was so chuffed, really shocked! It was absolutely horrific being away from him. You’ve had your baby and you are supposed to be at home doing all the normal stuff, and you go through the worst set of emotions. It is like an emotional rollercoaster.
“I can’t describe how much it meant to be at Cots for Tots House. People think you would just go to sleep but you don't, especially when you are expressing through the night. Being in the House meant that I could just walk over to the Hospital or use the phones to call and check up on Cobie whenever I wanted. We were so lucky to be given a room, and I just can’t imagine how we would have coped without the support of Cots for Tots.”
To say thank you to Cots for Tots for helping her family, Tasha organised a ‘Toddle for Tots’ fundraising walk along the seafront in Weston-Super-Mare in 2014, and keeps a collection tin in her shop. Tasha, Ryan and Cobie are currently supporting our BIG Bake appeal, which encourages keen bakers to whip out their whisks and raise some dough for special care babies.