“My husband contacted Bliss to get me to talk to someone” - Caroline’s Story

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Only three hours after Caroline’s son Jasper was born, he suffered a sudden unexpected postnatal collapse, and his NICU journey began. Thankfully, following fantastic support from NHS staff, Jasper made a strong recovery and is now thriving.

Just over a year ago, a little boy called Jasper Benedict was born at 7:30 pm on 12 December 2020 at 40 weeks and four days. Three hours after his birth, he suffered a Sudden Unexpected Postnatal Collapse (SUPC). This meant that he went from being a happy, feeding new-born to lifeless, floppy, and blue in a matter of seconds. We have been told it was likely due to an 'infection' – but we may never know exactly why.

Following three rounds of CPR and haemorrhaging on the lungs, 48 minutes later, the medical team managed to stabilise Jasper and take him down to NICU. It was a mixture of pure luck - being at the exact spot we were in at the right time (we'd been brought into the hospital as a precaution for a post-natal mother issue and on a ward that by chance had two registrars on duty on a Saturday night) and having an amazing neonatal and midwifery team. They are why Jasper is alive now.

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Jasper then spent ten days unconscious and on a ventilator, and was given morphine, steroids and eight other drugs whilst we prayed and waited to meet him. Since then he has defied all expectations and he has hit all the 'normal' milestones. He is a cheeky, stubborn baby whose favourite things are Alan (the cat), his brother and food - probably in that order!

We went through hell like so many parents as we were also in the deep depths of Covid, but we are lucky. While Jasper was critical and I was processing the shock of what happened, I didn’t speak to anyone and switched off my phone - my husband contacted Bliss in desperation of getting me to talk to someone and we spoke to a wonderful Bliss Champion on Zoom while we were staying at the Homerton.

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North Middlesex, Homerton, Great Ormond Street, Chelsea and Westminster and Kings College Hospitals all played key parts in saving our son, and at no financial cost for us because of the amazing service that is the NHS, and the amazing people who work for it.

Nothing can express how truly grateful we are - he would have left us that night without these incredible people. We changed Jasper's middle name from Henry to Benedict because it means 'Blessed', and we are truly blessed.

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Caroline is fundraising for the NHS Hospital charities that saved her son. You can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/team/jasperbenedict1st