After bringing Joshua home from the neo-natal unit at just 11 days old, Joshua became much more alert and was continuously gaining a healthy amount of weight.
After just a few weeks, Joshua started becoming very uncomfortable during and after his feeds. He developed a rash on his neck and was extremely constipated. I spoke to the GP about this, and they suggested to try Infacol as it is most likely colic. We tried Infacol for a couple of weeks but Joshua’s feeding just got worse. He started to vomit after all his feeds and began losing weight. He developed a persistent cough and his breathing became rapid which was beginning to have an affect on his sleep. He became restless and extremely irritable.
Myself and Joshua’s father decided to take Joshua to children’s A&E on Monday 18th January 2016. We wanted to ask the doctor for their advice about this, as Joshua was becoming very reluctant to taking any feeds. The doctor sent us away and told us to try some warm water between each feed, which we tried for 5 days, which didn’t make any difference at all.
On Saturday 23rd January 2016, we noticed that Joshua started to struggle breathing. He seemed to be having to put a lot of effort into each breathe. Joshua didn’t seem as alert as usual, all he wanted to do was sleep but he was so irritable. We knew something was not right. Due to this, we decided to take Joshua back to children’s A&E on Monday 25th January.
Joshua was very unwell, by this point his breathing became extremely wheezy and heavy. The paediatric nurse was useless, she carried out very few observations and told us that it is probably just a cold due to the change in weather. We waited hours after hours in an empty children’s ward with Joshua. We mentioned all Joshua’s symptoms to the nurses, they could see that he was struggling to breathe. He was still only weighing just over 4 pounds, they should have observed him more carefully knowing he was in the neo-natal unit just a few weeks before.
We waited 3 and a half hours in total for the A&E doctor to come, even though Joshua was really struggling. The doctor claimed that Joshua was 100% fine and he suggested that because Joshua was born 3 weeks early, he must just have immature lungs and bowels. The doctor even had the cheek to say that we are being paranoid ‘young’ parents. He assured us that we could go home and not have any worries. We were sent home at 3am in the strong winds early hours of the morning. Myself and Joshua’s father were very sceptical, we felt that something was wrong but we trusted the doctor, he knew best. You would like to think anyway.
Joshua still did not get better when we were home, his breathing just got heavier and heavier. We decided to take Joshua back to the hospital in the morning on Wednesday 27th January 2016 for another opinion. The doctor was brilliant and within 5 minutes after carrying out all her observations, she knew Joshua was very poorly. She said that Joshua should have been in days before. We told her about our last experiences and she was mortified. She said that he had something called bronchiolitis and needed oxygen to support his breathing, he was very very poorly. BRONCHIOLITIS. What an earth is that?
Joshua was emitted immediately onto the children’s ward and rushed to an emergency cot in a separate room. He was placed in a room right in front of the nurses reception so that they could get to him straight away when there was an issue. He was placed onto a CPAP machine to help him breathe and he had to be fed through a tube. We weren’t able to touch or hold him in case of any infection. It was devastating. All I wanted to do was comfort my baby and make him feel secure. Every time I saw how fragile and breathless he was just broke my heart. But, we felt so relieved that he was finally getting the help we knew he needed.
Holding him for the first time after 3 days was the best feeling in the world. He had to learn how to feed again. It just felt like one step forward and three steps back. But, of course our litter fighter did it. In fact, Joshua made a full recovery and was able to come home with us a week later. The doctor prescribed Joshua Nutramigen milk as he is lactose intolerant which explains the vomiting and unusual rashes.
It was a shame that these symptoms were not picked up sooner, Joshua showed almost every symptom of bronchiolitis, yet it was still brushed away as a ‘cold’. They didn’t even pick up his allergy of cow’s milk. We were shoved off just for being ‘young’ parents, but it could have risked his life. Joshua’s chest has never been the same since, he is now 20 months old and has to use an inhaler every night. We couldn’t have been more right, we are just so thankful that our baby made a full recovery…. I’m glad we never gave up.
All my love,