Tanesha’s Story

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Tanesha’s Story

When I found out I was 7 weeks pregnant, everybody in my family said it was a girl and they were right; it was a girl! I was so happy and couldn’t wait. I picked a name straight away and stuck with it. “Her name is Tanesha Mae” I said to all my family. Now my due date came and went with no signs of labour. Finally, my water broke and off I went screaming to the hospital. From the moment I saw her, she was my world – I bonded with her. I stayed in hospital for 4 days and we were both discharged and sent home.

She seemed to be an easy baby sleeping all the time only waking for 5 min feeds then back asleep she would go. But, this was constant and I began to worry as she also seemed to be breathing fast. The next morning I told my midwife about it and she checked her and said it may settle in a day or two. So, I said “ok” and carried on as normal. As the days passed all she seemed to do was sleep and feed. After about 2 weeks, she started vomiting. I got the midwife to check her and she decided to weigh her for the next few days to see how she goes on. By the beginning of the third week, she had lost a total of 70g in a week. So I was sent to the local hospital to get her checked out. They did all their checks and I was sent home with Gaviscon for reflux.

I tried this over the weekend and then took her back on the Monday because she had lost more weight and her breathing was becoming worse. I waited for hours to see a doctor; when the doctor came he did all the checks and asked a lot of questions and left the room. Then, in came another doctor. At this point, I was getting anxious as the same questions were getting asked over and over again. He then turned and said they wanted to get a senior doctor to come see her and then talk to me. So, I waited 5 minutes for the registrar to come. He examined Tanesha and turned to me and said “has anybody mentioned that she has a heart murmur?” I said “no, what does that mean?” From this point, it was the worst time of my life. Something inside me was ripped up. I was taken to the ward while x-rays and an EKG were done on my beautiful baby girl. Blood test after blood test were done while I sat there and cried. A nice doctor came to see me and told me the x-rays and EKG weren’t normal. He was sending me to Leeds for her to have an echo. I was so scared for my baby. The next morning, we were packed up early and waiting for an ambulance to transfer us to Leeds. It arrived 10 minutes later and off we went. It took a good hour to get to Leeds. When we arrived, I was sent into this room on Ward 10 with a big machine that takes an Echo of your baby’s heart and vessels. I sat there holding her head still while the scan was done. I couldn’t tell you the fear I felt inside as I watched the doctor scanning over my babies chest.

After it was done, the doctor turned to me and said, “there is something wrong with your babies heart. I will draw it to explain to you.” As she started drawing the diagram, I knew it was serious. I asked her, “is there a treatment?”. She said “yes, but only with open heart surgery.” My world just fell before me. I picked up my baby and held her so close and cried. I asked, “If she doesn’t have the surgery then what?” The doctor replied, “She will die.” At that point, I gave my daughter to the nurse and I ran to the toilet to be sick.

When I returned, they had put my daughter on oxygen and an NG feeding tube in. They said her sats were low and she needed help. They said I may be there for 4 days depending on how she did on meds. As the days went by, her breathing got worse and she started vomiting after every feeding. She was sweating and clammy. It was obvious she needed the operation soon and the surgeon confirmed so I never made it home. In fact, I was there for 8 weeks as she went through surgery, battled blood poisoning, and they suspected nec of the bowel. She was on a pacemaker for 2 weeks. During that time I didn’t eat or sleep until one of the nurses said, “If you don’t eat or sleep you will get ill and they won’t let you sit with your baby”. So, I started to eat and sleep, but the crying didn’t stop. I couldn’t help it; then one day Tanesha looked at me and gave me her first smile. I was sooo happy that day; not a tear shed because I knew there was no brain damage and that she will be going home… and we did make it home. She is my little warrior princess who is doing very well at the moment. She may need more surgery as she grows, but I take each day as it comes and hope it’s far off. I would give anything I had to the surgeon and staff that took care of her. Without them, she wouldn’t be here. So, I thank them all from the bottom of my heart… xxx

Written by her mother

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