Jimmy’s dad Mike writes,
“On Sunday 10th March, my wife Sophie gave birth to our son Jimmy. It was and still remains the greatest and scariest day of my life.
Two hours after Jimmy was born and whilst I was holding him, he had his first seizure and stopped breathing. Three more seizures occurred and following this third one he was rushed into NICU and I was asked to leave and await further information. Holding Jimmy’s first baby grow and his little hat I walked down the hospital corridor trying to compute what had just happened and what I was going to tell Sophie.
For the next three days Jimmy underwent an extraordinary amount of tests to identify what was causing his breathing seizures. These tests included an MRI scan, a CT scan, an ECHO, multiple X rays, brain scans and the most invasive, a lumbar puncture.
Two days after Jimmy was born we were informed that Sophie had tested positive for group B Strep and he had contracted group B Strep infection during labour. We had never heard of this mysterious infection but now we knew Sophie and Jimmy had it we hoped that the results of all these tests would deliver some well-needed good news.
It wasn’t until Wednesday 13th March we received some of the results and the news that the infection had not spread to his spinal fluid, but it was however, in his blood. He would need two weeks of intravenous antibiotics which would have to be administered in hospital, so he would be staying at hospital for two weeks. This was four days after Jimmy was born and we were still unable to hold him due to him being in the NICU treatment tank.
The remaining days in hospital were some of the hardest moments I think I will ever experience. I spent the daytime with Sophie, who was thankfully recovering due to receiving antibiotics for the infection and I would spend the nights sitting next to Jimmy in the NICU. His progress albeit slow was positive, and the news from one of the Professors that he was making a recovery was a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
After 5 days unable to hold Jimmy, Sophie finally had the chance to give him a cuddle as some of the breathing tubes were able to be removed. It was another 2 days before he was fully allowed to join us in our own room, and we could spend our first night together as a family.
During these days and nights I read everything I could find on GBS, and time after time kept finding myself on the Group B Strep Support charity site. I wanted to understand everything about this infection and try to find out how to prevent what happened to us happening to another couple in the future.
On the 23rd March, we were given the news that we could finally leave hospital and go home. Jimmy would need a final four days of antibiotics but we could bring him back for them to be administered. Our sense of joy and relief was overwhelming. We could finally begin our journey as new parents.
Jimmy is now a thriving 3 year old, having made a full recovery and thankfully having no lasting effects. We count ourselves incredibly lucky and recognise there are so many not as fortunate as us with this incredibly dangerous infection.
Thank you to Group B StrepSupport for providing me much-needed information at the darkest of times. I’m proud to say I’m a member of their Parents Advisory Panel working with other Mums and Dads to try and ensure our experiences don’t happen to future parents.
And finally, thank you to Sophie for being the best Mum Jimmy could ask for. And to Jimmy for shining up our lives every single day.”