Blackpool mum so grateful for care given at St Mary's Hospital Manchester after tiny baby battled for life

A Blackpool mum whose tiny premature baby was feared to have just two hours to live has thanked hospital staff for helping him pull through.
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South Shore couple Naomi Ashworth and Craig Edwards were delighted after she gave birth to twins Vinnie and Emelie on July 10 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, although at just 29 weeks old they were around two months premature.

The babies were tiny – Emelie weighed just 2lb 13oz and Vinnie was only a little heavier at 3lb 5 – and needed special monitoring.

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Despite this they were making good progress until Tuesday July 18 when Vinnie became upset and hard to settle and didn’t improve the next day.

Mum Naomi Ashworth was so grateful to hospital staff after tiny baby Vinnie came through three crucial operationsMum Naomi Ashworth was so grateful to hospital staff after tiny baby Vinnie came through three crucial operations
Mum Naomi Ashworth was so grateful to hospital staff after tiny baby Vinnie came through three crucial operations

It was the start of little Vinnie’s desperate fight for life as his worried parents, who also have a five year old daughter, Maisie, enduring an agonising vigil.

Serious diagnosis

Naomi, 30, an administrator at Layton Medical Centre, said: “I had gone to visit both the twins and Vinnie still had this cry as if he was in pain.

"I then had a cuddle to see if I could settle him myself but he was sick on my chest four times.

Proud mum Naomi Ashworth with her twins, Emelie and  VinnieProud mum Naomi Ashworth with her twins, Emelie and  Vinnie
Proud mum Naomi Ashworth with her twins, Emelie and Vinnie
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"A student nurse then came over and she mentioned the colour of his complexion and I agreed he looked a bit jaundice.

"This is when all Vinnie's examinations started.

“He had bloods, X-rays, scans, he was put back on fluids and started on three lots of antibiotics.

“We were told they were treating him as though he has a medical condition called NEC.”

Little Emelie and Vinnie in hospitalLittle Emelie and Vinnie in hospital
Little Emelie and Vinnie in hospital

Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious condition that can affect newborn babies, where tissue in the bowel (small and large intestines) becomes inflamed.

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Vinnie had to be rushed to the Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester.

Naomi added: “Consultants were in contact with Manchester and the next thing we know he's being blue lighted to Manchester NICU.

“At Manchester they repeated all the examinations again and changed the three antibiotics to a different three

Vinnie off the ventilationVinnie off the ventilation
Vinnie off the ventilation

“Then surgeons became involved and Vinnie had NEC, which was basically killing the bowel and Vinnie now needed surgery.

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"We were told Vinnie was the most critical baby on the unit, which was heartbreaking.”

Two critical ‘life or death’ hours

After a four hour wait Naomi and Craig were told Vinnie wasn’t strong enough to be moving for surgery.

Eventually they were told that surgeons had removed the damaged part of the bowel which had threee perforations in it

But worryingly they found some internal bleeding from Vinne’s liver.

Mum Naomi Ashworth with her little twins Emelie and VinnieMum Naomi Ashworth with her little twins Emelie and Vinnie
Mum Naomi Ashworth with her little twins Emelie and Vinnie
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Naomi said: “We were told we had one to two hours left with him, because they were worried he wouldn’t make it.

"I was crying my eyes out, I just didn’t stop crying, it was one of the worst thing any parent could hear, it was so awful.

"Even when he made it past those two house, then we were told the next four hours were crucial.

“Again he was a little fighter – he made it past those four hours but then the next 24 to 48 hours were a waiting game.

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“Friday came along and our boy was still there . The surgeon told us they needed to re-pack his tummy and also check they had removed all of the damaged bowel.

“A few hours later we got that phone call – hos internal bleeding had completely stopped.

“He had no more NEC on his bowel.”

Vinnie still needed to have a temporary stoma (colostomy bag) fitted but then this surgery – his third operation at just 15 days old - had to be cancelled when there was another scare and a long wait.

But thankfully it was then able to go ahead successfully.

So grateful to the hospital - they’re now raising funds

Naomi has now set up a crowdfunding campaign to try and raise £10,000 for St Mary’s Neonatal Unit and Ronald Mcdonald House Manchester (RMHM), with the latter providing a room for the family to cut down on time-consuming, stressful and expensive travel to and from the hospital.

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RMHC UK is an independent charity which provides free 'home away from home' accommodation at hospitals, enabling families to stay close to their child and maintain a degree of normal family life.

She said: “Vinnie is our little miracle man and we can't thank all the staff in the NICU enough for what they have done for our boy.

"At every stage of the process, they have kept us in the loop, informed us of everything that is going on.

"It was such a stressful time, I wouldn’t have wished it on anyone, but the standard of care was incredible.

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"They even let us stay in a little family room there, longer than we would normally have been allowed.”

After that the family has spent days at Ronald Mcdonald House Manchester, which crucially has provided the family with a room until little Vinnie is discharged.

Meanwhile, little Emelie is still being cared for by staff at the Neonatal Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where she is progressing well.

Naomi added: “All funds raised will be split equally between St Mary's neonatal unit and Ronald Mcdonald House Manchester.

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“RMHM provide so much and more. Unless you are in a situation like ourselves you wouldn’t understand the thought and care given by them.

“They gave us a room, we are given towels, there is a kitchen with five kitchens within it, which includes all pots, pans, cutlery everything you need.

“They have a pantry with food that you can take at anytime. We all have our own storage cupboard, fridge and freezer.

“It is kid friendly with a huge garden with a large amount of outdoor toys. A play room full of toys. Party days and events for the children to keep them entertained.

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"It is the most amazing thing at a time hen you need it most.

“We can't thank everyone enough for what they have done for us. Every penny helps even if it's only a £1.”

To donate to the fund, click here:

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