Why Walk?

Auntie Sarah, I
remember you!
When Adam was admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, the prospects looked bleak.  Just sixteen hours old and he wasn't expected to survive.  Despite the incredible odds facing them, the doctors and nurses on "The Unit" battled to save his life.  They had seen Group B Strep before and knew exactly what to do and how urgent the situation was.  Although I mentioned Nurses Sarah, Steve and Gina in Adam's story, they were just part of the team of highly experienced and dedicated staff who cared for Adam around the clock.  We continue to have appointments with Neonatologists Dr Deshpande and Dr Tyler who are also two among the team of doctors who dedicate their careers to treating premature and seriously ill babies.  As I said in Adam's story, Dr Tyler told us she spent more than one night standing over Adam's incubator dosing him with more and more medication as she battled to control the seizures caused by the horrific infection he was fighting.


The medical care given to Adam was extraordinary and this team of professionals, against all the odds, saved his life.  But as if that wasn't enough, what they gave to us was more than extraordinary medical care.  They treated us with respect and compassion - no question was too silly and no question was ever asked too often.  They understood our need to know everything we could about Adam's prospects and they compassionately answered every question.  They explained exactly what each machine attached to Adam was monitoring and reassured us every time an alarm sounded.  The team encouraged us to be involved with Adam's care whenever we could, teaching us to complete his "cares" which is the term given for bathing and changing a baby in an incubator who must be treated with the utmost gentleness.  We knew with absolute certainty that if there was anything they could do for Adam, it would be done without hesitation.  




Hello Dr Deshpande!
But they didn't just treat Adam, they helped us feel involved with Adam's care and as helpless, worried parents they discussed with us the decisions that were being made and encouraged our input.  When we sat beside Adam's incubator crying, they were beside us with the tissues and when we needed to laugh and smile in the midst of our situation, they helped us to find the humour we needed.  When I couldn't walk and was being wheeled about in an enormous hospital wheelchair, they shifted the incubators in the small crowded room to allow me to sit as close to Adam as it was possible to do.  When he was strong enough to be held, they gently lifted him out of his incubator, arranged his wires safely around me and encouraged me to cuddle my son.


Medically, this team of people saved the life of our son and in the process they protected and took care of us in ways we never could have expected.  Each and every day this team of people battle impossible odds and however hard they try, they are not able to save every baby who is admitted to the unit.  Yet this never stops them from pouring everything into caring for each new child.  In the face of NHS budget cuts, the costs involved in running a neonatal unit are staggering.  At one point, Chris accidently bumped my wheelchair into one of the unused incubators parked in the hallway and a nurse cheerfully called out to him, "Don't you worry, that bed only costs £22,000; we'll get another one!"  Yes, you read that right, twenty-two thousand pounds for ONE incubator.


Why is everybody laughing? Did I do something funny?


Many parents after time spent on The Unit offer their thanks by giving a donation, raising money or knitting little clothes for the babies to wear when they have none.  We wanted to do something to say thank you for everything the staff did for us and for Adam.  So the concept of a sponsored walk was born.


George on top of The Wrekin


Chris decided to walk twenty-three miles, one mile to represent each day Adam spent in neonatal.  As part of this walk, he climbed The Wrekin twice, the local 1,335 foot hill and walked from there to Shrewsbury Hospital.  In the beginning, we hoped to raise £500 - a target that seemed huge.  But very quickly, we were offered sponsorship from many different sources, private donations from family and friends, donations from community groups, churches and schools in Telford, even anonymous donations from local people who had heard of what we were doing through various media reports.  Chris's office, Capula, offered to match any donations we could raise up to the value of £1,000 and we were overwhelmed.

Chris and Lynne on the way to Shrewsbury


Then others started joining in.  First was my stepson George, then aged nine, who wanted to do something for his brother so he decided to walk five miles up and over The Wrekin and raised sponsorship of his own to do so.  Then two of my sisters, one who lives in England and another visiting from Canada decided to join Chris for part of his walk as did Chris's sister.  My brother-in-law even decided to do a 23-mile sponsored walk of his own on the same day in Canada.  The sponsorship money kept rolling in and as Chris became more worried about being able to complete the challenge he had set for himself, we were overwhelmed and overjoyed at the amount we were raising.


Just before Chris collapsed into bed!



The final total raised for the Neonatal Unit of Royal Shrewsbury Hospital was a staggering £4,289.00 and we are incredibly grateful to all those who sponsored Chris or members of my family for helping us to achieve such an amazing goal.  The donations page is still open so if you've been touched by Adam's story and would like to contribute, please visit www.justgiving.com/walkingforadam.  Chris keeps talking about doing something else one day so who knows...


If you want to see the posts or publicity surrounding this walk, please click on the label "Walking for Adam". 


With part of the Neonatal team who saved Adam's life



2 comments:

  1. Hi lovely, I tested positive for GBS during my pregnancy with my little boy - Sam escaped infection at birth as I had antibiotics during labour (induced due to complications). Sam has a range of disabilities, we don't know if this was due to in utero contact with GBS but it doesn't matter a jot because hes alive, fabulous and ours :D Theres a wonderful charity called Snowdrop, if you ever need any help wit hAdams development give them a shout xxx

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  2. Hi Carolyn, I'm so glad to hear you received antibiotics, thats such a huge first step. I'm sorry to hear of your sons disabilities though, its not an easy road! I've not heard of Snowdrop but will check it ot, thank you!

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