New mum Terri-Marie Paul is among those who have benefitted from the makeover of parents’ rooms on Walsall Manor Hospital’s Neonatal Unit that has been paid for by charities and community fundraisers.
Terri, 31, gave birth to son Wren early at just 28 weeks, after contracting pre-eclampsia, a complication that left untreated can be fatal for both mum and baby.
She had contacted maternity triage on 16 August because she hadn’t felt her baby move and was advised to come into hospital.
“I thought it would probably be nothing and I’d go home again but my blood pressure was really high and I had protein in my urine and I was told I had pre-eclampsia,” said Terri, who works as a Quality Consultant for the RAC roadside assistance and insurance organisation in Bescot, Walsall.
“After speaking to a Consultant it was decided that I would be best to have my baby that day or the following day, because of how harmful the condition can be if it’s left so I very unexpectedly found myself having an emergency C section and Wren was born on 17 August weighing 2 pounds and 5 ounces, so just a bit more than a bag of sugar. He was ventilated then went on to CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), then given high flow before moving on to oxygen and being taken into special care here on the Neonatal Unit.
“The staff here have been absolutely fantastic with everything. They have supported me to give him my breast milk and nothing is too much trouble for them. You can ask all the questions you need and they are so kind and patient.
“I have also been able to use the newly refurbished parents’ rooms which has been really good for my mental health at times. This is all a lot to take in as you don’t imagine needing Neonatal care for your baby, you’re just looking forward to the due date which should have been 7 November in Wren’s case. To be able to get out of the noise of the machines and the clinical stuff is what you need sometimes, and I’ve been grateful to have those rooms to use so thank you to everyone who made this possible.”
Little Wren is now making good progress and weighs 4 pounds and 6 ounces.
A Quiet Room has also been refurbished so that it provides a less clinical environment for families receiving sad news or having difficult conversations.
The revamp, which cost more than £20,000, was funded thanks to Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity and Libby Mae’s Little Angels charity – boosted further by Marks & Spencer Wednesbury, which made the unit its fundraising focus for a year, and generous local businesswoman Annette Owles-Bryan who owns Annette’s Pram Shop in Blakenall.
Strictly Come Dancing star Will Mellor officially cut the ribbon, last Friday 22 September.