Ollie's first Christmas at home
In 2016 Ollie was born at just 30 week’s gestation. During the most traumatic moments of their lives, his parents, Sarah and Lewis, were told their newborn baby son was not moving or breathing.
It took the doctors five hours to resuscitate and stabilise Ollie, he was then able to be transferred to the specialist Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Arrowe Park Hospital. Ollie spent the first 11 weeks of his life and his first Christmas in the ward at the hospital, where he was eventually diagnosed with Congenital Myotonic Dystrophy.
During Ollie’s time at Arrowe Park Hospital, his parents were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, meaning when they weren’t by his side, they were only one floor above him. Being able to sleep less than a five-minute walk from Ollie meant his parents were able to get well-needed respite.
On Christmas morning, Sarah and Lewis woke up with a stocking hanging on their room door full of gifts for their baby boy from the House team. They were able to spend the morning with Ollie before travelling home to have Christmas lunch. Less than two hours after leaving the hospital, they arrived back and were told by doctors that Ollie had been having concerning heart palpitations the entire time they were gone which subsided as soon as they were close.
Ollie’s mum, Sarah, said “It meant the world to be just upstairs from Ollie. It was such a comfortable environment for us to be in during some of the worst days of our lives. The girls from the Ronald McDonald House are absolutely incredible people and do such a great job. They were there when I needed to talk to someone about ‘normal’ things, and they know what good cakes are!”
Ollie was discharged from NICU just after Christmas. He then went on to have further treatment at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and was finally allowed to go home in February this year, but will continue to go back and forth to specialist hospitals to have treatment for the foreseeable future.
This Christmas will be the family’s first at home and they are looking forward to being able to decorate their own Christmas tree. Being able to wake up on Christmas morning and to have lunch with Ollie at home will be a dream come true.
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