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5th Jul, 2022

Hopes for baby born at 22 weeks who has defied the odds to come home

Sarah Mason 16th Apr, 2022

THE MUM of a baby who has defied the odds at every turn has spoken out about the everyday challenges she faces with a pre-term baby.

Hannah Collett and her husband Andrew, from Barston, were told to prepare for the worst by doctors after her waters broke following an infection when she 22 weeks pregnant in December.

On January 6, Rafferty was welcomed to the world crying and breathing for himself, which Hannah says even the team at University Coventry and Warwickshire Hospitals said was a miracle.

He weighed just 640g and was whisked off to intensive care for monitoring and breathing support.

Typically at 22 weeks a baby would start to develop their lungs and taste buds inside the womb and they would try practise breaths ready for when they are born.

Hannah said: “Both the staff and Andrew and I were amazed at how much fight our new baby boy had.

“Although on a cocktail of medications and ventilator to assist him breathing, he was gaining weight and his routine scans all came back as normal.”

As the days passed the new family of three settled into their new life on intensive care.

Hannah said: “The smallest of tasks, changing a nappy, having cuddles and dressing our baby, felt like the hugest milestones and achievements.

“Extra care had to be taken when we handled him or changed his nappy.

“Hand washing and sanitising is imperative.

“It was scary at first as he had so many lines and wires to work around, but the nurses taught us how to work around them.

“Holding him when he was on the ventilator was a two nurse job and required preparation to get him out of the incubator.”

Just a few weeks later Hannah says Raffy took a turn for the worst and had to have six blood transfusions after he was diagnosed with sepsis.

His mum said: “Seeing our baby have to fight this hard was unbearable and we stayed by his bed side night and day.

“Once again Raffy came out fighting and defied the odds.”

Raffy has now been moved to special care and Hannah hopes the next move will be to home as he grows stronger.

Hannah said: “He’s starting fighting us when we change his clothes, and tightening his lips when we wash his mouth.

“He’s smiled a few times but I think it’s more wind at this stage, cute to see though

“The hardest thing for us was not being able to have the support of our families around us due to the Covid regulations.

“They still haven’t met Raffy and are desperate for a kiss and cuddle.”

Speaking about their time with the special baby care team at the Coventry hospital Hannah said: “The consultants, doctors and nurses provided care on a level that we couldn’t have imagined.

“Nothing was too much trouble and no questions were left unanswered.”

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