The 12 week scan
As Gemma lay there watching the image of her baby during the 12 week scan the sonographer noticed an anomaly. The images revealed that her unborn child had a rare condition called Exomphalos major. This is when the liver, bowel, intestines, and bladder develop outside of the body.
The early diagnosis gave plenty of time for the medical teams to plan for baby’s delivery by caesarean section in the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow. The elective caesarean date was set.
However, baby had other ideas! Exactly 3 weeks and 5 days early, Gemma’s waters broke. The family live in Stirling “I can remember driving through to Glasgow in a panic when my waters had broken as Jamie was unable to be delivered naturally” Gemma told us.
Jamie is born
As soon as baby Jamie was born he was taken to the hospital in Yorkhill. Gemma was in recovery after the birth and wasn’t able to see him for a couple of days.
“We still had no idea if Jamie would even make it through the night as his condition was very complicated. I wasn’t prepared for what would happen after his birth and I remember feeling completely overwhelmed and worried about what was to come” recalled Gemma.
After being discharged from the maternity unit Gemma remembered arriving at Yorkhill hospital. Her son looked so small and poorly lying in the hospital bed. “I was really upset at the thought of having to leave him there without me. I just couldn’t bare the thought of having to go back home without him” Gemma told us.
Gemma knew that with her c-section she would be unable to drive for six weeks. Added to this her family all worked full-time and would not be available to drive her to the hospital. “I would have to travel back and forth each day which would be a huge expense” explained Gemma, thinking back to the additional stresses of having a seriously ill child in hospital.
A room at no expense
A family team member at the hospital introduced themselves to Gemma. They informed her that Ronald McDonald House Glasgow had a room available for her at no expense.
Gemma went on to say “Jamie stayed a total of 7 and a half months in Yorkhill hospital, and this House allowed me to be with him every one of those days and nights. Jamie had 7 surgical procedures during this time and the comfort of knowing I never had to worry about not making it in time for when things went wrong and to be fully present within his treatment plan. There were bad days and when the nurses would call or, communications needed to be had with his consultants I could be there at any time. I would never have been able to do this if I had to travel from Stirling each day”.
A bright future
Jamie went on to have further surgery through his early years. He is now a healthy and happy little boy. Gemma ended by saying “We will always be enterally grateful to the Ronald McDonald House Glasgow and staff for how they were able to support our family during one of our most difficult times”.
The family wanted to give back to the Charity that had helped them. They held fundraising events in their local pub and so far, have raised £1,500!! Their generosity is helping future families stay close to their seriously ill children in hospital.
We thank Gemma and her friends and family for their continued support of the House. We’re very happy to hear that Jamie is doing so well – what a star!
If you would like to run a fundraising activity of your own, please do contact us. Ronald McDonald House Glasgow has a dedicated fundraising team who are friendly helpful bunch – get in touch with them today!Back to Stories