The Anderson Family Story

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A previous difficult birth already had Chanelle worried

Having experienced a traumatic birth with her second born, Fred, Chanelle felt understandably anxious about future pregnancies and delivery of another baby. She did become pregnant again, and was very worried when the midwives expected her second son to be over 10 lbs. The health team considered inducing Chanelle early but instead decided a C-section would be safer.

On the 17 October Danny was born. Due to breathing complications he needed to be admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Danny spent four days there before returning to Chanelle on the postnatal ward, from where they were discharged on the 22 October.

Chanelle was so happy to be taking her beautiful new baby boy home. “It was incredible being at home with my own family. Emily and Fred getting to cuddle their new baby brother”.

As the family settled into life with a new baby, Chanelle continued with her breastfeeding. However, Danny had lost 11.7% of his birth weight and was quite jaundiced. Feeling worried, the family took Danny to their local hospital. Here Chanelle was given a feeding plan for Danny and the doctors carried out blood tests.

Then things changed quickly and dramatically. Chanelle explains “We were just settling in for the evening when the doctor came through and asked that I follow them through to HDU [High Dependency Unit], where they were now taking Danny. I was so scared, watching my baby with machines all around him, constantly having blood tests. I was not allowed to feed him”.

When Chanelle’s husband, Tony, arrived at the hospital the doctors explained that Danny was being transferred to the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow. Chanelle recalls how “… we were bundled into a ScotSTAR ambulance [to make] our way to Glasgow. I just remember crying, that’s all I could do. I was sure we were losing our boy”.

On arriving in Glasgow, Danny was admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Further tests suggested either a salt wasting or adrenal crisis. Chanelle and Tony had been awake all night. They didn’t know any of the doctors or nurses. They didn’t know what was going on. All they did know was that they were now two and a half hours away from their home and family. And that their precious son was in a tiny cot with machines all around him.

The clerk secures them a room at Ronald McDonald House Glasgow…

The ward clerk explained to Chanelle and Tony that there was a room at the House for them. She went on to explain how the House is within the hospital grounds, and so they would only be a few minutes away from Danny.
So, that evening they left Danny to complete their check-in at the House. Chanelle remembers how they “were welcomed at the reception with a smile, we were shown around the House and what facilities we could use. There was a laundry room, a shared kitchen with a play area off it, the kitchen had stations that you could use as you pleased, they had everything you could ever need. You had your own fridge and freezer space, etc. Some of the local supermarkets would pop by with produce. So, if you didn’t have time for breakfast, you’d be able to grab a quick croissant and be on your way”.

Thankfully Danny was stabilised quickly and left PICU after 48 hours. He had a bed in another ward for a few more days whilst they monitored him. Chanelle explains that “Unfortunately after having a c-section I was unable to stay in the ward on the side bed as it wasn’t comfortable enough … the bed at Ronald McDonald [House Glasgow] came in handy. It was incredibly comfortable and like my own bed at home. A real home from home. I was able to fully relax and get a full night’s sleep, knowing my baby was being cared for just across the road and if needed I could call over using the telephone that was in my room”.

Back in Fife

The Andersons’ family back in Fife rallied around to look after Emily and Fred. “We could have [had] the children stay with us if we wanted” as the House can accommodate two adults and two children per bedroom. “Thankfully we didn’t stay too long, but as a family we will forever be thankful for Ronald McDonald House Glasgow”.

Chanelle finishes with a heartfelt thank you: “Thank You to every single person that works hard at Ronald McDonald House [Glasgow] for all the work they do to help families like us. From the Chairman to the Security and Cleaners, we value you all. You help make a huge difference”.

From all of us here at the House, thank you for your kind words. We are grateful to have been in a position to be able to help.

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