Don’t be afraid to ask for help..

Jack was born at 32 weeks, weighing 4lb 4oz. He did very well, coming off respiratory support within 24 hours and was discharged after just 18 days on SCBU.

Just one month and one day old Jack became very poorly. We rushed him to A&E; he was not breathing and his body was shutting down. Jack had bronchiolitis. After a wait that seems like a nd eternity Jack was taken to Bristol Childrens Intensive Care Unit where he was put in an induced coma and on life support. Jack was eventfully transferred back to Cardiff when a bed became available, where he remained for a month and a half before he finally came home. The full extent of that story will have to be told another time. I can feel the panic and terror rising and I don’t want to face that one today. It never gets any easier telling the story.

Jack went on to be a happy baby but as time went on it became apparent that he faced challenges. He couldn’t sit unaided, couldn’t crawl not matter how hard he tried. I out it down to being premature and believe that he wold catch up in is own time as his brother had and as Ava subsequently did. Weeks and months passed and eventually he met those milestones. Looking back through the photos I can see now that things weren’t right.

When life changed dramatically and I became a stay at home parent again I called in help. Our Helath Visitor referred him on to a Physiotherapist who in turn referred him to a Paediatrician ( and she refereed us on to the army of people involved in his ongoing care). Eventually Jack had an MRI scan and we had the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. I had know for about a year prior to the diagnosis that thats what it was, so I took that in my stride. It was the Global Developmental Delay that hit me. I found it hard to get my head around. The boy who stood in front of me looked very much like any other, I couldn’t match the two together. I’ve found that every day is a learning process with Jack. The things he likes and doesn’t like can change on a daily basis, as he gets older his delays become more apparent to me. I guess as he grows up people expect more so it’s more obvious. The help he’s received from the NHS has been fantastic and I urge anyone to ask for help if you think you need it.

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