• Shaune Watts Fundraising
  • Shaune Watts Fundraising

My Story - Mater Little Miracles

Noah Charlie was born on 24 January 2011 weighing 1090 grams (2.4 lbs), 10 weeks premature, however it could have been a completely different story.

The 13 week scan was all clear, no signs of any issues and all progressing well. Come the 20 week scan something was not right. He was showing as being 2 ½ weeks behind in growth and the scan also revealed a ‘bright’ spot near his diaphragm.

After losing our baby girl "Missy" at 20 weeks 8 months earlier, we were devastated and could only think the worst.

After another 3 weeks of further scans, visits to the obstetrician and the unknown of what was wrong with Noah or Kimberley, Kimberley was admitted to hospital on 10 December 2010 (last day of school term) with high Blood Pressure, low platelets and Liver function issues, she was at 23 weeks gestation.

Kimberley was diagnosed as having a slow form of the HELLP syndrome. HELLP syndrome is a life-threatening obstetric complication usually considered to be a variant of pre-eclampsia.

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Kimberley spent 6 weeks in hospital on bed rest and became a gestational diabetic during this time, which was as a result of the medication she was taking to increase her platelet levels.

This was an extremely tough time for us all, but none more so then for our 2 young children. Being the school holidays Kimberley had all these things worked out but unfortunately they were left with a mum being in hospital.

Kimberley was allowed out on Sunday before school returned in the New Year which was fantastic as our little boy was starting prep. We dropped the kids off and went back to hospital to be checked out, however Noah was not moving much and it looked like he’d had enough and wanted out.

By 1pm that afternoon Noah was born via emergency caesarean.

Noah was born with Severe Chronic Lung Disease and spent 5 days on a ventilator, babies of this gestation they try and take off the ventilator after 1 day. He was fed through a line through his belly button and then through a central line through his leg to his stomach.

He developed a chest infection within 2 days of being born.

He was connected to the CPAP machine for 4 weeks to support his breathing, without this support his lungs would collapse and would have been potentially fatal.

We were not able to hold him until he was 9 days old.

He came off CPAP however his saturation levels began to decrease, he was then diagnosed with mild Chronic Lung Disease.

For 10 weeks we spent everyday at the hospital bringing in more milk and being with our little man, it’s extremely difficult to know you have a baby but you can’t take him home.

He spent 6 weeks in special care where he learnt to feed off mum and get stronger to go home.  Then, just when we thought this journey was over and our little man was coming home, it was discovered that he had a hernia in his left groin.  This required surgery and the doctors decided to operate on both sides by doing a bilateral hernia operation.  Tears were shed watching our little man go out of our arms and off to sleep.

He was finally released from hospital on 31 March 2011, 3 days longer than previously thought however his lungs were not strong enough to support his breathing so he had to go home on oxygen 24/7.

He remained on oxygen until July 2011 where he had a sleep study and his oxygen usage was weaned and it was only on when he slept. He remained on oxygen until 15 September 2011 when it was no longer needed.

He’s now home and doing well, he’s still battling to put on weight but medically he’s fine.

It’s not until you experience this journey for yourself that you appreciate and understand what the wonderful staff at the Mater do to support you and your family through this, fundraising is my way of giving back to the Mater as we owe Noah’s life to them.

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