Baby’s re­mark­able start to life

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Monique Pre­ston monique.pre­ston @whit­sun­day­times.com.au

A CAN­NON­VALE baby had a re­mark­able start to life last week, hav­ing to be re­sus­ci­tated just af­ter he was born.

When Bayli McGowan was born shortly be­fore 8am on Septem­ber 24 at Proser­pine Hos­pi­tal, he did not take his first breath, in­stead go­ing into car­diac ar­rest and hav­ing to be re­sus­ci­tated by med­i­cal staff.

Par­ents Jess Lewis and Stephen McGowan could only watch on in hor­ror as doc­tors and nurses rushed into the room to join the two mid­wives who had been present at the birth.

“It was pretty scary,” Stephen said.

“It was re­ally quick, they cut the cord, put him on the ta­ble and re­sus­ci­tated him.

“We were ex­pect­ing a nor­mal nat­u­ral birth.

“It all went that way, but when he went to take his first breath he couldn’t.”

Stephen said he was al­lowed to re­main in the room, help­ing Jess while staff worked to save Bayli’s life.

“I had to help Jess. Ev­ery­one was fo­cused on the baby,” he said.

“A mid­wife and I helped de­liver the pla­centa.

“It was re­ally hard. Watch­ing your baby get re­sus­ci­tated and try­ing to help your girl­friend.”

Stephen said it was a time of mixed emo­tions.

“In love, scared, happy, sad, all at once,” he said of how he was feel­ing.

Af­ter re­sus­ci­tat­ing Bayli, Proser­pine staff were talked through what was needed next with a con­sult from Townsville Hos­pi­tal’s Neona­tal In­ten­sive Care Unit.

Bayli was then taken to Townsville Hos­pi­tal by the RACQ CQ Res­cue he­li­copter which had a neona­tal re­cov­ery team on­board.

Jess had com­pli­ca­tion from the birth and had to re­main at the hos­pi­tal with both par­ents fi­nally able to leave able 5pm to head to Townsville to see their baby.

Bayli is now in the Neona­tal In­ten­sive Care Unit at Townsville Hos­pi­tal, but Stephen said he was im­prov­ing each day.

He is still con­nected to sev­eral mon­i­tors and other ma­chines and it is ex­pected that he will need to re­main in the NICU for a few weeks be­fore be­ing moved to else­where in the hos­pi­tal.

His par­ents are now wait­ing for the day when they will fi­nally get to cud­dle their son.

Jess only held him for a few sec­onds af­ter he was born, be­fore he strug­gled to take his first breath.

As for what caused Bayli to have breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties when he was born, Stephen said he had been told they may never know, other than it was a prob­lem with his lungs. “It could have been an in­fec­tion that wasn’t picked up, or he could have had fluid (on his lungs) he couldn’t han­dle,” he said.

Stephen was full of praise for Proser­pine Hos­pi­tal staff, cred­it­ing them for sav­ing his son’s life.

“With­out the fast ac­tions of the mid­wives, Bayli our baby boy would have died,” he said.

“Thank you for sav­ing my baby.”

He was also thank­ful for the fast ac­tions from the he­li­copter crew, who were able to get Bayli to Townsville so quickly and with such good care on­board.

“It’s good we’ve got the he­li­copter,” he said.

“Imag­ine 20 or 30 years ago, they wouldn’t have had a he­li­copter with the (spe­cialised) baby equip­ment.”

Jess and Stephen are stay­ing at Red Cross House in Townsville, with Jess to re­main in Townsville as long as Bayli is there, while Stephen will swap be­tween Townsville and their home so he can con­tinue work­ing.

“We would like to thank all in­volved in­clud­ing the Red Cross for hous­ing us here in Townsville and all the doc­tors and nurses,” he said.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

RE­COV­ER­ING: Bayli McGowan had to be re­sus­ci­tated by Proser­pine Hos­pi­tal staff af­ter he failed to take his first breath when he was born on Septem­ber 24.

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