After her baby was born early at 36 weeks last year and became seriously ill, Jess felt very “isolated and lonely” on a hospital ward – but a Borough-based charity helped her feel calmer.
Baby Caleb developed respiratory distress syndrome, which can be fatal without immediate treatment. He was on a ventilator and given antibiotics, as well as having to undergo a lumbar puncture.
Because she wasn’t in the same ward as Caleb, although she could visit him, and because her partner was only allowed to visit her until 7pm, Jess said she felt scared and alone in hospital while recovering from her own emergency Caesarean section. To help with this, she listened to a podcast by the charity Bliss, which supports premature and sick babies and is based on Borough High Street. The podcast included the stories of other parents who had gone through similar anguish.
“It made me realise I wasn’t alone, that there were other people who had had similar challenges to what I was facing,” she said.
Happily, Caleb is now seven months old and has no lasting damage from the ordeal he went through at the start of his life.
Bliss, which also provides practical information as well as campaigning and supporting research into the area, is being supported this year by London Bridge City, near London Bridge, including with a £5,000 fundraiser. You can donate here.
Parents, relatives and healthcare professionals working with premature or sick babies can contact the charity at firstname.lastname@example.org any time for support and information via email or video call.