Annabelle Ward's story
Born 11th September 2018 @ 24 weeks & 3 days weighing only 682 grams
According to her discharge summary she was “extremely preterm, born in poor condition.”
During her stay in NICU, these were her main issues and treatments:
• Chronic Lung Disease
• Suspected NEC
• Acute Kidney Injury
• Numerous septic & respiratory deteriations
• ROP stage 2 - she had Avastin injections in both eyes
• 25 blood transfusions
• Several times on Nitric Oxide and the high frequency oscillator
• Countless blood gasses (at one point every hour for several days)
• Weeks of steroids to get her off the ventilator and to reduce her oxygen
• Numerous cannula’s and long lines (even in her scalp)
• 60 days of TPN while unwell
In total, she was ventilated for 51 days, on CPAP for 39 days, on Optiflow for 47 days and finally on just oxygen nasal cannula for 18 days (continued at home).
After 70 days in ICU, 70 days in HDU and 15 days in Special Care (155 days in total), we could finally take her home.
On discharge on the 12th February 2019 she weighed a whopping 4.3 kg’s.
She is now almost 14 months old (10 months corrected) and is doing amazingly well at home. She has had some colds and even Bronchiolitis but has not been re-admitted once!
As far as we currently know, there will not be any long-term health issues other than some developmental delays.
After the eye injections, her eyesight is now perfect.
She is still on oxygen, but we are currently weaning her off it and she already has 2 hours a day O2 free time, which is just amazing!
She loves her food and eats everything in any shape or form That’s why she now weighs 8.4 kg’s and is catching up well.
She just adores her brother and to see the love between the two of them is amazing. They have such a strong loving relationship!
She rolls all over the place and is determined to move towards her toys. She can almost sit up unattended and loves standing up.
The 5 months in hospital have been the hardest time of our lives, with 1 step forward and 2 or 3 steps back, but it has also been very special seeing her grow from this tiny little pickle to this amazingly strong baby girl and to see her develop her own little personality (which is getting bigger and bigger J)
While we were in hospital, we raised some funds for Ickle Pickles as they have just been a major game changer for us. We have benefitted so much from equipment that has been donated by them, including the new reclining chairs for Kangaroo Care / Breastfeeding and the Zaky hand that calmed and supported Belle when we were not there.
So to all the new preemie parents reading this…. hang in there and have hope! They are in the best place possible and eventually they will get there! The doctors and nurses are just fantastic and they will do everything they can to get your little one(s) home!!