A Scarborough couple have launched a huge fundraising effort to raise £7,000 needed to provide Scarborough Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit with a second potentially life-saving CPAP machine.
Nicola and Simon Whiteley experienced a distressing first week as their newborn son had to be transferred to York hospital to receive life-saving breathing support.
Now, a year on, they are fundraising with the hope that other Scarborough families won’t have to go though the same ordeal.
Their newborn son, Bradley, had to travel an hour along the A64 to receive the breathing support he needed.
Bradley was gasping for air shortly after birth and was rushed to Scarborough Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit where he was placed on its only CPAP machine to help inflate his lungs. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.
Mum-of-two Nicola said: “Bradley was rushed to the unit where they did tests and discovered that he was suffering from Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome.”
This means Bradley’s lungs were not fully developed and couldn’t provide him with enough oxygen unassisted. Although this is uncommon in babies born at Bradley’s age, 36 weeks and six days, it is often seen with premature babies.
Since the hospital only has one machine, babies who require long-term support, more than four hours, must be transferred to a different hospital elsewhere in the country.
“Because Bradley needed more time using the CPAP machine, he had to be transferred by ambulance to York Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care,” said Nicola. “Transporting a poorly baby by ambulance requires them to be ventilated and sedated.
“It was a stressful ordeal travelling along the A64 and we had to stay in a B&B to be close to him.
“Bradley spent four days needing the CPAP machine before his lungs were strong enough for him to breathe without help.”
Thankfully after a week in York Hospital, Bradley was well enough to come home and his family have recently celebrated his first birthday.
“We were really happy with the care we received both at Scarborough and York, but obviously we feel that other families in this situation should not have that added extra pressure and stress of having to travel to another hospital,” Nicola added.
“This was our second baby and after a trouble-free first delivery, it made us realise that the same could happen to anyone.”
They started the fundraising effort three weeks ago and have already received a huge amount of support and have raised £348 on justgiving and collection boxes alone.
Nicola added: “This is all in the hope that Scarborough can then offer a greater period of time to babies that require help, rather than facing the risk and upheaval of being transferred away, providing a better range of services to babies in the area.
“During the first three weeks we have heard from three other families in the local area who have undergone a similar experience and whilst the care given by Scarborough Hospital was faultless, the second machine will bring such a benefit to other families in the area.”
They have organised a children’s disco on Saturday August 6 at the Corporation Club from 2pm to 4pm.
To donate online visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Scarborough-Hospital-SCBU-CPAP or there is also a collection box at Spence Butchers in Dean Road.