Justine Todd – Event Safety Officer & Parent Advisor

 My son Kyle was born on the 21st April 2014, three days overdue. Everything was normal throughout my whole pregnancy and labour until he was born.

When he was born, he was not breathing, had a bleed on the brain, blood poisoning, severe neonatal encephalopathy grade 3 and patent ductus arteriosus.

He was taken straight away to the neonatal unit. I first saw him at 12 hours old. Whilst on the unit he was on 13 different medicines. I was told for the first 5 days that Kyle was not going to live. I finally got my first cuddle when Kyle was a week old, we finally left the unit when Kyle was 11 days old. I was told before we were discharged from the unit that Kyle would never be able to walk, talk, crawl, sit up or eat normal food and that he would need lots of extra care for the rest of his life as he was going to be disabled and be wheelchair bound.

As time went on Kyle started doing things like rolling over and babbling which we were told he would never do. I was seeing him how he was through the day but then on a night I was reliving what the neonatal specialists had told us and kept thinking to myself that he could do that now, but he might not be able to do it ever again. I was battling with myself constantly.

I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in February 2015. I was referred for counselling and had 8 sessions, but I then scored too many points on the questionnaire that I had to fill out at the beginning of each session, so I could not have any more counselling. 4 years on I am still affected by the journey and trauma we went through, but I am coping a lot better now than I have done over the last 4 years. As for Kyle, well he is just amazing! he is a happy healthy 4 year old little boy that does everything that a normal 4 year old child does he walks , runs , talks , eats normal food and is a very clever little boy that will start full time school in September and by looking at him now you would not know the journey that he went through at the beginning of his life.

I am now ready to give back and help other parents that are currently going through the journey I went through when I had Kyle.

I think this is much needed for parents / families going through this journey so that they can see that yes, it is hard, but you can get through it together with support from those around you and you become stronger than you ever thought possible.



Facts & Figures

79% of parents said a neonatal stay affected their mental health

Leo’s saw a 337% increase in need due to COVID-19

Did you know, reading to your baby in the NICU helps their development?

Leo's Neonatal

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