A scared mum was forced to give birth to her premature son while stranded more than 400 miles away from home in Aberdeen. Amy Jenkins was 35 weeks pregnant when she travelled to Moray to celebrate her dad’s retirement in July this year.
But when she began to experience pains in her back, she was taken to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin where medics diagnosed her with preeclampsia. The-mum-to-be was then transferred to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital as her symptoms continued to worsen.
Amy, from Worcestershire, ended up giving birth to her son five weeks early on Wednesday, August 23, AberdeenLive reports. Brody was born weighing just 4 lb 6 1/2 oz, and was taken into the hospital's neonatal unit for special care.
The family, including husband Alex and four-year-old son Jude, found themselves stuck on a seven-hour car journey away from their home with no vehicle or accommodation - until The Archie Foundation stepped in.
Amy explained: "It was an incredibly stressful situation coming to terms with having our son in an incubator and I was worried where we would stay while Brody received treatment. This is where The Archie Foundation stepped in and offered us a comfortable place to stay."
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Gillian Thom, support manager for the charity, was the Jenkins' family's first line of contact and became a comforting face in the Archie Family Centre, where the family were accommodated during their time in Aberdeen. Now, a few months on from their worrying ordeal, the family have paid their thanks to the foundation on World Prematurity Day.
Amy continued: "Gillian was such a friendly, welcoming person and her support was incredible. We were offered somewhere to stay on the hospital grounds to be close to Brody, which was such a relief.
"Financial strains are upsetting at the best of times, let alone when you're miles from home with a newborn baby so it was a huge weight off our shoulders to know we were supported. I will be forever grateful to The Archie Foundation for helping us when we needed it most."
The Archie Foundation provided a financial grant to the Jenkins family, which covered their expenses while staying in Aberdeen and also ensured they had a suitable car seat for taking Brody home when he was discharged almost two weeks later. Despite having a stressful welcome to the world, Brody has since settled at his home with his mum, dad and big brother, and has continued to thrive.
Paula Cormack, chief executive of The Archie Foundation said: "We understand how distressing it can be to find yourself at hospital with your child and we do whatever possible to make this difficult experience that little bit easier. Our support and services for neonatal families includes financial support, access to overnight accommodation, funding specialist equipment, providing hot drinks and snacks in the unit, training for staff and so much more.
"As we mark World Prematurity Day on November 17, which aims to raise awareness of premature birth across the globe, we are so pleased that baby Brody is doing really well and is now at home in Worcestershire with his family."
From its base at the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, the charity has helped children and families across the north of Scotland for 22 years, including across the Highlands and Islands and Tayside.
The Archie Foundation is hosting a celebration at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital's McGillivary Room on Sunday, November 19 from 1-3pm for neonatal staff and families, past and present.
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