Our Millennium Boy

Jack was born 9 weeks early on 12th October 2000, weighing just 4 and ½ pounds. After a promising start Jack sadly suffered a major brain haemorrhage which left him struggling to survive. He spent his first three months in the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit at the Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge whilst we kept a vigil by his incubator.

Unable to feed or breathe for himself, the doctors involved told us to be prepared: he had a 50/50% chance of survival and was likely to be severely disabled. He also stood a very high chance of developing hydrocephalus with pressure causing his brain to swell as the days went on.

But our Jack was a very determined little boy – after three days, he pulled the ventilator out of his nostrils and took his first milk through a feeding tube. He spent the next few weeks building up his strength but while that was happening, the effects of the hydrocephalus started to cause severe pain. The doctors carried out the first of 14 operations when Jack was just seven weeks old.

For the next four months, Jack had to undergo brain surgery to insert several shunts to control the pressure – we had good days and bad days and lots of infections and blockages along the way. With only two weeks spent at home over Christmas, it was a very difficult time.

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