The parents of baby triplets have thanked hospital staff for saving their sons lives as they celebrate their first birthday.
Little Josh, Jayden and Jax Williams-Hine were the first triplets born in Fleetwood for more than 20 years.
But their doting mum, Lena Williams, says they might not be here today if it wasn’t for the expert care of the ofstaff at the Neonatal Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Some 30 members of staff at the hospital helped the triplets through a traumatic birth – and made sure they are the healthy boys seen here today.
When they were born on April 13 last year, they were two months premature, tiny and fragile, and spent their first couple of months in the baby unit, hooked up with drips.
It was such a fast birth they were nearly born in the car on the way to hospital – yet staff at the unit were ready.
Lena and her partner Aaron Hine, 28, who live on Wolsley Road, Fleetwood, have been happily preparing for the boys’ birthdays today.
Lena, 23, a former beautician, said: “The boys are doing really well but they probably wouldn’t be here today without the special baby care unit.
“The staff there were amazing, I can’t fault them.
“They provided not only expert medical support and emotional support.
“There were 30 different members of staff, doctors, nurses and midwives, all there to help.
“And they had hardly any time to prepare for us arriving.
“The babies were nearly born in the car so it all happened really quickly, and they were tiny.
“The Baby Care Unit is one of the best in the country and we’re lucky to have it.”
In the hospital, Josh weighed in at just 2lbs 6oz with Jayden at 2lbs 5oz and Jax at 2lbs 6.5oz.
A year on the boys are unrecognisable – three lively and inquisitive baby boys.
Lena, 23, who formerly worked as a beautician, said: “They are doing really well but there have been a few blips along since we got them home from the hospital.
“Two weeks after they came home, Jax stopped breathing and I had to give him mouth to mouth resuscitation – it was the worst day of my life. I was so relieved when he started breathing again.
“Josh was in hospital twice with bronchiolitis and Jayden had a purple rash which we thought might be meningitis – but he was okay.”
Julie Kearney, clinical nurse educator for the Neonatal Unit, said: “It is always exciting to have triplets born at Blackpool – the last triplets born at Blackpool and cared for on the Neonatal Unit were in 2012 – and staff responded superbly to the circumstances to attend the delivery and assist with stabilising the babies following their births.
“As soon as staff on the Neonatal Unit were made aware of the impending deliveries, extra staff came into the unit from their homes and stayed long after their shift was supposed to finish.
“Myself and others came in to work extra hours to ensure the triplets received the best possible care and ensure they remained together here at Blackpool.
“As all the triplets required respiratory support following birth, they initially required one-to-one nursing care but staff worked extra shifts to ensure the babies were treated together in the same unit so the family could all be together.
“The triplets progressed really well and it was great to see all three gorgeous boys discharged home following their stay on the unit.’’
Lena and Aaron had little sleep for the first six months and ended up sleeping on the couch, as the babies were kept in the lounge.
But the boys now have their own beds upstairs.
It is certainly a dream come true for the couple, especially as Lena was told at 17 that she would be unlikely to be a mum because of a health issue.
But the couple turned to the NHS for help and tried the fertility drug Clomid, which proved a big success three times over.
The family also includes the triplets’ older brother, Ryan, who is nearly three years old now, while Aaron, 28, also has a seven-year-old daughter, Levi, from a previous relationship.
Aaron works as a products tester at Laleham Health & Beauty, near Kirkham.
Lena’s parents, Alun and Pam Williams, of Seabank Road, Fleetwood, are proud of all the boys and often help out with babysitting.
Around 200 sets of triplets are born in the UK each year.
The Neonatal Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital admits approximately 250 babies each year.
It has 16 cots, which are split into three areas of Intensive Care, High Dependency and Special Care.
Each area is equipped and heated differently in accordance with the medical needs of its babies.