Friday December 7th 2012 – a date that will forever be etched on my mind. It should have been a time of joy – the birth of a Grandson a fabulous occasion for the whole family to enjoy.
A call I took from my youngest son Aaron at 1.47pm changed all that ‘Dad, Orry’s been born (smiles across both of our faces – I was in the car with my wife Di at the time) but………. (the gap seemed like an eternity) he’s very poorly’ the fact that my youngest son had made the call not Orry’s Dad Matt made the call that much more serious.
It turned out Orry’s birth had been complicated and somewhere along the way Orry had been deprived of oxygen – the fact was he was not expected to live. Our world turned upside down in a moment.
Di drove us to Worcester, a distance of over 40 miles, all things went through our minds whilst we travelled at great speed down the M5 but the overriding feeling of injustice and pain was all encompassing.
We arrived at Worcester where we had been just 24 hours earlier talking through the hopes and aspirations for the new arrival with Matt and his girlfriend Sasha. I don’t remember walking to the delivery suite – somewhere along the way I was joined by Matts Mum – then the moment – Matt met us inconsolable, our little boy crying uncontrollably about his baby boy. There isn’t a manual for that they don’t tell you how to react in the parents manual. We hugged and Matt said stuff – the fact was no one remembers exactly what was said.
Orry was in intensive care not even Sasha had seen him after her emergency caesarean, Matt had seen him briefly. He was too poorly for anyone else to see him and Matt was praying that Sasha would get to see their son alive.
We (both sets of families – I hadn’t even met Sasha’s parents) were thrown together in what was a totally alien environment of a type of bereavement room – there were poems to babies who had only spent hours in this life all over the walls – the signs were not good and we prepared for the worst. Each minute each hour were precious – even the least religious of us prayed he would make it.
Matt didn’t want to go back to intensive care for fear of what he might find – we persuaded him to – it gave him some comfort.
Then came the news that he was being transferred to a category three neonatal unit at Birmingham Women’s Hospital who had the brain monitoring equipment he needed. We were told that he still might not make the journey of 35 miles to Birmingham.
His trip from the hospital was in a life-support ‘Pod’ He was wheeled out past Sasha and then via reception where grandparents uncles and aunties dashed to just get a glimpse of the new arrival through the plastic.
It was then in the lap of the gods – would he make Birmingham – would we ever see him alive again?
Matt and Sasha’s mum followed the ambulance to Birmingham and he continued to fight. Sasha was still not able to go – the plan was to follow later. It didn’t happen until the next day.
Orry was put on the unit.
During the last week he has had his challenges – like the possibility that he would not survive being taken off the ventilator on Wednesday. He will have many obstacles to overcome in the week’s months and years to come and still he is in Worcester Neonatal unit – we would love him home for Christmas, but the fact is he is still alive and kicking.
Birmingham Neo-natal unit were awesome. I truly believe he would not be with us had it not been for their expertise – we will never be able to repay them.
The biggest thing to come out of this week is the love and support shown by our friends and family we are truly blessed and would like to thank all of them for the messages of true love and friendship. It will be a special Christmas, not for the presents around the tree but a little man who just might not have made it had it not been for their love. The gift of life – priceless.
The Power of Love – Orry’s First week in Video
Happy Christmas Everyone