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Thomas Hebden

Our Story

My Darling Thomas was born 22nd June 2011 at 4:33am weighing in at 9lbs 11oz!  He had a rough start to life, but every day I look at him and think how unbelievably lucky we are.

I had never even heard of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia before this day, I had numerous scans and checkups but everything was normal, strong heart beat and big baby.

I went into labour naturally at 40+3 weeks and everything was going to plan.  He was blue when he was born but not navy as my consultant told me is very common, no-one had any idea what was wrong with him, he was silent apart from some grunting noises and when I asked what was wrong they assured me he was fine.  Originally they thought he had swallowed some amniotic fluid, apparently relatively common.  After about 10 minutes he pinked up and they finally handed him to me.  But still no real cry and he wouldn’t feed, so my midwife was not entirely happy.

It took a little while for him to go downhill, if my midwife hadn’t been there in the room with us we may not have caught the fact that he was going blue so quickly.  Luckily she was able to rush him off to the Special Care Baby Unit whilst they sorted me out.  It took them a few hours to figure out what was wrong and Thomas was transferred to The Royal London at 12:00noon.  I didn’t find out what was truly wrong, or rather fully comprehend what was wrong, until 10pm that night when the full details were finally explained to me.  All I really remember was the Consultant telling me he had a 50/50 chance and thinking what does that even mean?  What does this mean for his future?

Thankfully, he seemed to improve a little bit every day, a tiny light that I could hold on to and each day I got a little less scared to walk onto the ward in the morning.  He had an amazing surgeon who did his operation thoracoscopically, and the hole was just small enough that we didn’t  even need to have the patch, amazing!  He had a couple of set-backs after the operation then started to improve again, on day 10 he opened his eyes for the first time, and day 13 I held him for the first time.  He came on in leaps and bounds from then on and on day 16 we were transferred to Special Care at Whipps Cross Hospital and day 17 my baby finally came home.

We have been so lucky, Thomas will be Christened in a few weeks and we are asking friends and family to take a look at your website and the help that you are providing for parents and families and consider making a donation on Thomas’ behalf.

It has been quite a journey but I am happy to be celebrating life almost 9 months on.