Mum thought newborn had jaundice before being told ‘he’s sickest baby in hospital’
A mum who thought her newborn baby had jaundice was horrified when doctors turned to her and said “he’s the sickest baby in the hospital”.
Twin boy Luca Dowse was delivered as a normal, healthy baby before he was suddenly struck down with a terrifying bout of E-Coli at just four weeks old.
His mum and dad – Katie Carney, 30, and Michael Dowse, 35 – then noticed a yellowish-grey tinge to his skin and he refused to feed.
This prompted his worried parents to rush the tiny baby to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough on October 21.
They believed he had a bout of jaundice – but the reality turned out to be far scarier.
Once at the hospital, Luca began to develop sepsis, and his distraught parents were told there was nothing that they could do for him as his situation worsened, TeessideLive reports.
The baby boy was then rushed to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle by ambulance, but what ensued was worse than Katie or Michael could have imagined and something no parent should go through.
After multiple assessments by doctors, it was found that due to a lack of oxygen when doctors tried to incubate him, Luca’s spleen had become irreparably damaged and, as a result, he would need to take antibiotics for the rest of his life.
Sadly, he wasn’t out of the woods.
When doctors at the RVI performed a lumber puncture on him, they found out that he also had meningitis, as well as a heart murmur.
As little Luca begins to grow and develop, he will need to be closely monitored by the neurological team, and several specialists, at the RVI.
However, despite his rough ride and the challenging times ahead, at nearly seven weeks old, Luca is now slowly getting better, much to the relief of his parents, siblings, extended family – and twin sister Isabelle.
“We’re just so glad he’s here. Initially, we were sat down by the doctors and they told us that he was gravely ill,” said Katie.
“Even at James Cook they told me that he was ‘by far the sickest baby in this hospital right now’ and that was even before they took us to the RVI.
“I just keep thinking that he is so lucky to be here, someone has definitely been looking down on him.”
During the family’s time at the RVI, they were given free onsite accommodation, which is all funded through charitable donations.
This meant that while Luca received treatment in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Katie and builder Michael didn’t have to commute the near-50 mile journey every day from their home in Eston.
As the family begins to adjust to their new normal, Katie, who is a health worker at the Friaridge Hospital in Northallerton, hopes they can give back to the hospital, and the doctors and nurses, who saved their son’s life.
They have since set up a GoFundMe page which aims to raise as much money as possible for the RVI so that other families who are going through a similar situation can receive the same care that they did.
She added: “If we couldn’t have stayed at Crawford House then we’d have all been split as a family, and how can you have one parent and one child at the hospital and the others at home. It is fantastic there, there were some families who’d been there for 18 months.
“I’d like to raise some money for the PICU there too, they use all their own stuff, even their own baby clothes for the babies being taken off the ventilator. Even if it went towards them giving it towards helping the babies in the ICU because they said they’re always running short on baby clothes.”