Little Leo Bambridge has fought more than his fair share of battles in his young life and now that he’s taking his first steps, his parents have been doing their bit to say thanks to the hospital that saved his life.
Debbie (33) and Derek Bambridge (30) from the East End of Glasgow have raised an incredible £14,500 to buy a laryngoscope for the Princess Royal Maternity, which will help other premature babies in the future.
Debbie was just 25 weeks pregnant where she suffered a placental abruption, putting her baby at risk and meaning she needed an emergency caesarean section.
Debbie said: “I was in hospital when it happened as I was having lots of issues with my pregnancy but I didn’t expect what happened next. Within minutes I was rushed off for surgery, meaning Leo was born 15 weeks early.
“The whole team were amazing and I am so grateful to our Neonatologist Carolyn who was fortunately on that day, so was there to care for Leo as soon as he was born.”
Dr Carolyn Abernethy said: “I had only been a neonatal consultant for one month and this was only my second day on as the intensive care consultant. I will always remember Leo’s delivery and thinking this is it, time to step up and remember everything you have been taught throughout your training.
“You are never on your own though and we have a fantastic team at the PRM who have all contributed to helping get Leo to where he is today. It’s so lovely to see Leo nearly two years on and doing so well.”
Leo was born on 9 August 2016, weighing just 2lbs.
Debbie said: “We spent a total of 16 weeks in the Princess Royal as Leo had lots of issues. When he was seven weeks old he developed Sepsis and was very ill indeed. A lot of this is very common with premature babies but not something we were used to. But we had so much support from the staff which helped us all get through it.
“Leo will be two in August and is making great progress – he’s even started at nursery recently. Derek and I felt it was time to give something back to the PRM for everything they have done for Leo and for us.
“Derek is a member of the Eastmuir Masonic Lodge and every year they have a sponsored walk in aid of a particular cause. Very kindly, and knowing our story, they asked if they could do it for the hospital, as they knew how tremendous they had been.
“Normally the fundraiser gets about £2-3,000. We managed to raise £14,500 when we did it for Leo and the PRM. It was such a lovely day, all our friends and family joined in – we were buzzing. People were stopping their cars and making donations. It was all very emotional.”
Dr Abernethy says the video laryngoscope they were able to buy with the proceeds will help lots more premature babies like Leo.
She said: “This is vital equipment. Very premature babies need help with their breathing and the scope helps us guide a breathing tube down into their lungs. This will help us teach our trainee nurses and doctors this lifesaving skill – we are so grateful to Debbie and Derek for their amazing fundraising efforts. We are thrilled.”
Despite the months in hospital being a very stressful time for the whole family, Debbie says they remember the medical and nursing teams with a great deal of fondness.
She said: “We have come so far with Leo and it’s all down to these guys. They looked after all of us and got us through everything. And not just the medical care, great as it was but emotionally too – we were treated like family here and we will never forget that.”
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