“He’s heavier than I thought he would be!”
Yesterday marked another huge day in the recovery of Covid survivor Ellie Wright – she was able to hold her baby son Leo for the first time and is now on a ward at Walsall Manor Hospital.
The 20-year-old first time mum was supported by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust staff Hazel Brookes and Xana Marriott and little Leo, who is now eight weeks old, snoozed happily in his mummy’s arms.
“He did do a dirty nappy though,” said Ellie.
“I haven’t read the diary that neonatal staff kept for me while he was there yet but I will look at it properly. He looks like me; he’s got my nose!”
Leo was delivered when Ellie was 30 weeks pregnant and was 10 weeks premature as his mum needed life-saving treatment after contracting Covid-19. He was cared for in the Neonatal Unit and had to go on a ventilator for 24 hours.
Meanwhile Ellie was fighting for her life and had never even touched her baby until a couple of weeks ago when critical care staff and neonatal staff worked together to arrange for his incubator to be brought into the Critical Care Unit. Ellie was only able to reach out and touch him as she was still very weak. Baby Leo is now at home with his nan and grandad and is thriving after being born weighing 4 pounds 4 ounces.
Ellie, of Beechdale, has been able to leave the Critical Care Unit and is progressing well on a ward now, receiving rehabilitation.
“I have been able to stand and I’m working on using a frame to be able to get into a chair,” she said. “My oxygen has been reduced and the tracheostomy has gone so I can speak now. I really missed having a cup of tea and I do still want one of my mum’s curries when I get home.”
Ellie is now focusing on being home for her 21st birthday in May.
Xana and Hazel have been working together to arrange for Ellie to hold Leo now that she is on the road to recovery.
Xana, Senior Sister for Critical Care Rehabilitation, said: “She is doing really well and it’s lovely to be able to have conversations with her and see her personality coming through. And baby Leo is just gorgeous, she should be very proud of herself.”
Hazel, Specialist Midwife for Infant Feeding, added: “It has been lovely to support Ellie with feeding and transition to parenthood and to have close contact with her baby. He loved his mum’s cuddles and I’m sure she’ll get stronger and stronger each day knowing her little boy needs his mum.”