A Father’s Tower of Strength
When Ben’s partner Lindsey found out that she was pregnant, the couple were over the moon. They both lived together in Sale, Trafford and were so excited that there would be a new brother or sister for Lindsey’s other three children.
However, as Lindsey got closer and closer to her due date, it was becoming apparent that she was starting to struggle. At six months, Lindsey became so out of breath that Ben called an ambulance and she was taken straight to St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester.
After extensive examinations by the cardiac team, specialists detected an underlying defect with Lindsey’s heart and she needed surgery immediately to repair a heart valve. What’s more, they were told by the hospital team that as Lindsey was pregnant, she would not be able to cope with labour full-term and their baby would need to be delivered as soon as possible. Her condition was life-threatening and they feared the very worst.
On the evening of Bonfire Night 2014 Lindsey had a C-section and the couple welcomed baby Jacob into the world as fireworks sparkled in the sky.
Lindsey was then rushed into surgery herself by the cardiac team. The operation seemed successful and both mother and baby were in intensive care, in the same hospital, just on different wards.
Due to the severity of mum’s condition, she was not able to see Jacob, who was thankfully growing stronger and fighting harder by the hour. It was now Christmas and Lindsey was still in intensive care without a glimpse of baby Jacob. Ben has fond memories of the photo album that nurses made of baby Jacob being delivered to Lindsey in hospital and her delight at seeing her little one so strong.
During this time, Ben was able to stay at Ronald McDonald House Manchester. He describes the House as his true ‘home’ for three months whilst he coped having both son and wife in hospital.
Sadly, Lindsey contracted pneumonia and her heart could no longer take the strain. She passed away February of this year.
Ben says, “The House team were so supportive in what I can only describe as a nightmare. Deputy House Manager Sally helped me so much with everything and I made friends with other mums and dads in the House. I don’t know what I would have done without them.”
Ben and his family kindly collected donations for Ronald McDonald House Manchester at Lindsey’s funeral. An incredible gesture.
Jacob is now 11 months old and coming on leaps and bounds. Sleep is at a premium though, as Jacob is teething (he kindly got his first tooth on Father’s Day!) The little family have just had an offer accepted on a house and will be moving just in time for Christmas.