Dad’s bliz­zard dash to see birth of pre­ma­ture twins

Evening Times - - NEWS - By LOUISE HOUS­TON

A SAILOR raced across the UK in the mid­dle of the night to see the pre­ma­ture birth of his twins at just 27 weeks old.

Ben Goodall, 39, re­ceived a fran­tic phone call from his wife, Vic­to­ria, who told him that the heart rate in one of their twins was slow­ing down and doc­tors might have to per­form a cae­sarean.

Ben, from Bish­op­briggs, East Dun­bar­ton­shire, was fly­ing to Gatwick to join his ship in Portsmouth but changed his plans when he re­ceived the news at the air­port.

The Royal Navy chief petty of­fi­cer hired a car and drove through the night in a bliz­zard to make it to Princess Royal Ma­ter­nity in Glas­gow city cen­tre in the morn­ing.

In­cred­i­bly, he made it to the ward with just 15 min­utes to spare be­fore the emer­gency cae­sarean.

Vic­to­ria, 36, gave birth to a girl, Emelia, who weighed a tiny 2.05lbs, and a boy, El­liot, who weighed just 2.03lbs.

The twins had blood trans­fu­sions, res­pi­ra­tory sup­port, sep­sis, and lit­tle El­liot needed eye surgery and a her­nia re­pair.

Hav­ing been born 13 weeks early, the twins spent a to­tal of 107 days in the hos­pi­tal be­fore com­ing home - where they have gone strength to strength.

Vic­to­ria said: “It was aw­ful, I called Ben when he landed and told him what was hap­pen­ing and he had to come back right away.

“He hired a car and drove through the night – in­clud­ing a bliz­zard. That must have been aw­ful for him.

“It was such a long night but I had my mid­wife Gil­lian McLaugh­lin by my side the whole time, hold­ing my hand and re­as­sur­ing me. She was truly amaz­ing.

“Come the morn­ing I was told they couldn’t wait any longer and would be do­ing an emer­gency cae­sarean to get the ba­bies out.

“In the end, Ben made it with 15 min­utes to go.”

Two neona­tal teams, headed up by con­sul­tant Dr Chris Lil­ley, were stand­ing by for the cae­sarean.

The prob­lem was dis­cov­ered dur­ing a rou­tine an­te­na­tal ap­point­ment on March 20, and the twins didn’t go home un­til July 5.

Vic­to­ria added: “The ba­bies were whisked away im­me­di­ately and I think that was the worst bit.

“I didn’t even get to hold them to­gether un­til they were three weeks old. But I knew they were get­ting the best care imag­in­able.

“Once again the staff were amaz­ing with me. Rather than go­ing to the post-na­tal ward, I was put in a sin­gle room in the an­te­na­tal ward.

“I couldn’t have faced the other ward with the ba­bies and the bal­loons and the vis­i­tors; this kind ges­ture made such a dif­fer­ence to me at that time.

“My mum had to call my work to say I wouldn’t be in – I had had my ba­bies 13 weeks early.

“The ob­stet­rics team were so kind, they kept com­ing back to visit me over those dif­fi­cult first few days.

“Their job was done but they went above and be­yond to see how I was do­ing and give me words of en­cour­age­ment.”

The cou­ple also ap­pre­ci­ated the sup­port from the Royal Navy, who gave Ben five months paid com­pas­sion­ate leave.

Vic­to­ria said: “His ship was about to de­ploy to the Med just af­ter the twins were born and they re­alised there was no way he could be away from them.

“They have been in­cred­i­ble and I don’t know what we would have done with­out this sup­port. It was one less thing to worry about.”

Baby twins Emelia and El­liot were born 13 weeks early, and be­low, Ben and his wife Vic­to­ria Goodall with their new­borns

Vic­to­ria with her twins at home, and El­liot, cen­tre, and Emelia, right, in hos­pi­tal af­ter be­ing born at the Princess Royal Ma­ter­nity in Glas­gow

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