William Cheadle

/William Cheadle

William Cheadle

At a routine 32 week scan, my husband and I were told the news that our baby had stopped growing at 28 weeks and “has to come out tomorrow”. 40 minutes later I was in a hospital bed being monitored overnight – the next day our son, William, was born. He was immediately whisked off to SCBU, which we had been prepared for and which was the only place we wanted him to be to give him a fighting chance of survival – his birth weight was 2lbs 4.5ozs.

For the next 2 weeks he “behaved himself” and was gradually introduced to the tiniest amount of milk each day. We thought the worst was over…….. However, 2 weeks to the day since his birth, we received a telephone call asking us to get to the hospital as soon as possible.

William had developed group B Strep and was extremely poorly; as well as this, a lumbar puncture showed traces of meningitis. He was put onto a ventilator and paralysed to prevent him from pulling his tube out; as well as being given 3 or 4 blood transfusions and lots of medication. We were told it was a waiting game for the next 48-72 hrs and that he was on a “knife-edge” – he would go one way or the other.

Tears were shed and close family were informed but we never gave up hope and, miraculously, after 72 hrs he started to show signs of pulling through. It was the best news ever – I don’t think to this day that we had prepared ourselves for the worst; we knew we had a fighter even if a very small one! He soon went from strength to strength and, after being in SCBU for just under 7 wks, he was allowed home – an amazing day.

William was 7 in February 2016 and wears glasses, but other than that has no other health problems at all – he’s doing amazingly well at school too. He has a wicked sense of humour and a great zest for life. We will be eternally indebted to the SCBU staff at Ipswich Hospital – the most amazing, selfless people.

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