Summer16 Aug 2019, 9:05 a.m.
Nickie and Matt found themselves at St Michael’s NICU as their baby Summer needed urgent treatment.
“Summer arrived at Gloucester Hospital in 2018. Those first few hours with her were bliss - we’d finally met our little lady! But soon after things didn’t seem right; she wouldn’t take any milk and kept vomiting.
“It was two days in when they told us Summer needed urgent treatment at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol. As parents, this is supposed to be one of the best times in your life but almost automatically Matt and I were filled with fear. As she was whisked away in an ambulance to Bristol I was left wondering what would happen to my precious girl.
“Fortunately, Matt could join her and he spent a scary 24 hours on his own at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit until I was discharged. The NICU team were incredible to us and nothing ever seemed too much trouble. They were on hand to support us when we were told the news that Summer had a suspected condition called necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). It meant her bowels were seriously inflamed and the affected part could potentially die.
“Much to her discomfort, they stopped Summer’s feeds for a week so that her bowel could rest and recover. There were a lot of tears throughout this and not only from Summer – from Matt and me too! Watching your baby struggle has to be one of the hardest things; you just wish that you could explain to them.
“We wanted to be by her side every waking moment but when you live an hour away it isn’t always possible. But when we met Anne from Cots for Tots House that all changed. Not only are you literally across the road from your hungry baby but you’ve got a comfortable, welcoming space to call your own which is an absolute godsend and we cannot thank Cots for Tots enough.
“Gradually they started to introduce milk and formula and slowly but surely our baby girl seemed full of life again! It took three weeks for her to gain enough strength to return to Gloucester Hospital. Here we were told the news Summer also had cystic fibrosis. At times this news felt like another blow but a year on and Summer is thriving! We won’t know the extent of her cystic fibrosis until she is a little older but I feel safe knowing that she is under the care of Bristol Children’s Hospital.
“Matt and I will always be grateful to NICU for helping guide us and Summer through her rocky start in life.”
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