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Jessica Chapman

At our 20 week scan we received the devastating news that our baby had left sided CDH. We were distraught and shocked to say the least, having expected everything to go well. After further testing we discovered we were having a baby girl and had appointments ever three weeks at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford. Her condition appeared to remain consistent throughout these scans, however, we were warned throughout that although they could use the scans to give them a good indication we would never really know how our little girl would cope until she arrived.

On Tuesday 19th March, I started early labour and after a well monitored labour due to her heart rate dropping on numerous occasions our beautiful little girl, Jessica Rose, finally arrived at 2.05am on Thursday 21st March. I quickly held her whilst they cut the cord, she was then whisked to the team on standby and ventilated and taken off for further testing. We eventually saw her again at about 7.30 am. The hardest 5 hours of our lives!

Her tests came back looking positive and she had surgery on the Friday evening and was transferred to PICU. She remained stable and was attempted to come off the ventilator at 5 days old, but did not cope well. She also suffered a punctured lung when the consultant attempted to put in a central line. At day 10 she was once again taken off the ventilator and put onto VapourTherm and coped so well that within 24 hours she was breathing unassisted. By 13 days old Jessica was discharged and we all finally came home together.

It was a difficult time, but we realise how lucky Jessica  was and had very few complications. She’s currently doing really well and we’re all very proud of her.