A mother whose son spent 129 days in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Nottingham University Hospitals after being born prematurely, pays tribute to the team who cared for him by nominating them for a NUHonours award.
In March this year at 25 weeks pregnant, Helena Bee, a solicitor from West Bridgford, attended the antenatal clinic at QMC, after a bad reaction to some pain relief. Helena was asked to stay in over-night. That afternoon Helena went to use the bathroom on the unit and went into early labour.
The mum of two said, said: “It was terrifying – the team very quickly moved me from the bathroom to the labour suite whilst shouting at me not to push. Alexander was born and the neonatal team took him to the intensive care unit. From then onwards, they were just absolutely fantastic the whole time we were with them. The team are absolute experts and treated me and my family with such respect and everyone was so caring. As parents on that unit we get so wrapped up in the journey and we almost forget about the team behind the incredible work that takes place. I really wanted to give this team the recognition and the credit they deserve back.”
Helena has nominated the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at QMC for the Team of the Year award at the annual staff recognition and celebration ceremony NUHonours in November. This is one of 1,100 nominations received for staff and teams at Nottingham Hospitals.
Last year at NUH around 800 babies were born prematurely and on average across QMC and City Hospital there are around 10,000 births each year.
Barbara Linley, Neonatal Matron for Nottingham University Hospitals said: “We work extremely closely with families to make it as easy as possible for them at what is such a difficult time for parents, so that they truly get the best outcome for their child. Babies and their families on the neonatal unit go through so much including extremes of emotions as part of the journey with their loved one. Helena and her family were great and we worked in partnership with them to help Alex.”
When Alex was born he weighed just 780g. He’s now six months old and is doing well, attending regular clinic drop-ins with mum Helena, and dad Arran, as part of his development and support.
Helena added: “People keep saying it is a miracle that Alex is here. But it’s not miracle, because that does not showcase the skill, hard work, knowledge and dedication of all the people involved in Alex’s care. It’s such a wide team including physiotherapists, dietitians, the junior doctors, nurses, consultants the neonatal practitioners – even the receptionists and volunteers – everybody that you come into contact with on the unit always has so much time for you.”
“It was actually one of the scariest times of my life and at points it was made bearable with the support of the staff on the unit who, although it’s their job to care for you, really do care.”
NUHonours is the annual award ceremony recognising and celebrating staff and teams working at NUH who go the extra mile. The shortlist will be revealed on Monday 15 October on: https://www.nuh.nhs.uk/nuhonours