Paul Farmer is now the Ward Manager of the Neonatal Unit at the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) - the very ward his twins Elise and Ashley were cared for on 15 years ago.
Paul said: “The twins were born five weeks early at the QMC at 5am on 3 November 2005.
"Elise was born 5lb 1 ounce and Ashley was born 3lb 12 ounces. Ashley needed some help to breathe at first and was a little on the small side, so he was taken to a ward which looks after premature babies - the Neonatal Unit.
"Ashley spent two days on the unit and I visited him a couple of hours after he was moved.
"The team welcomed me in, handed Ashley to me and encouraged me to try feeding him. I had never held a baby before but it was great for me to learn the basics."
After the two days, Ashley was moved to join Elise on a Transitional Care Bay – this is where babies go when they need a little more help feeding
Paul said: “We spent three weeks there because Elise was not feeding. We received great support from Sue, a support worker, who looked after us all. She still works there today and I see her regularly at work.
"I have to be honest, even though I was already a step-father, I couldn’t see myself having my own children.
"This changed when the twins were born and I was trying to keep the tears from rolling down my face. It seemed so surreal that they were here."
At the time, Paul was working as a retail manager for Homebase. Although he had aspirations of training to become a paramedic, he didn’t feel in a position to leave full time employment.
Paul continues: “When I saw the brilliant work the staff on the Neonatal Unit did, it inspired me to become a nurse.
From the day my twins were born I have dedicated my working life towards becoming a nurse on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit."
In 2010 Paul applied to university and started his training to become an Adult Nurse.
After graduating he joined Nottingham University Hospitals in January 2013 as a nurse, working on an adult admissions ward and, later that year, he joined the Neonatal team having gone back to university to qualify in the Neonatal specialty.
Paul said: “In October I became the Ward Manager of the Neonatal Unit at QMC – the very place where my twins were born. This means such a lot to me.
"One of the things I love about my job is caring for the babies. Some of them are with us for 16+ weeks and we build strong relationships with the families.
"While I enjoy being one of the few male nurses, we would benefit from getting some more on board, especially for the Fathers of the patients."