» Char­ity work­ing to save lives of all ages CT Scan­ner Ap­peal

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By MELISSA JONES

AMOTHER has de­scribed how she was afraid to cud­dle her tiny pre­ma­ture baby. Joseph, born at 26 weeks, was so small he weighed less than a bag of sugar.

Jes­sica Buck­land was only al­lowed to hold him for the first time ten days af­ter the birth.

The 26 year old said: “He was so tiny I was wor­ried I would hurt him,” said.

“When he was born he weighed just 1lb 6oz. Af­ter I had an emer­gency C-sec­tion, they brought him to my face and I cried.

“He was so del­i­cate, ab­so­lutely minis­cule.”

She con­tin­ued: “At that time he was in the in­cu­ba­tor and I wasn’t al­lowed to touch him.

“I strug­gled to be­lieve he would get through it and at first it was dif­fi­cult to bond as I wasn’t sure how long he was go­ing to be here.”

The mother of one from Tuf­fley found out she was go­ing to have Joseph early af­ter fall­ing ill at work.

She went to get checked at hos­pi­tal as she could not feel any move­ment in the womb.

Af­ter tests, Jes­sica was told her blood pres­sure was high and there was pro­tein in her urine.

Medics were concerned her son was not get­ting enough oxy­gen and nu­tri­ents through the pla­centa.

“I had an­other scan and they said I would have him in the next 24 hours,” she said. “I knew the prospects were not that good for a baby at his age.

“I was in shock. I didn’t know what to think or feel.

“I wasn’t sure whether my baby was go­ing to live or die, it was a mas­sive thing won­der­ing that I may give birth to a child that may not sur­vive.

“I did feel quite lonely.” Joseph en­tered the world at 12.26pm on Oc­to­ber 2, 2015.

At first he had to be fed through a nasal tube and, af­ter that, breast milk through a sy­ringe.

By seven weeks, he was able to have for­mula milk.

He was in hos­pi­tal for two and a half months and was home for baby’s first Christ­mas weigh­ing five-and-a-half pounds.

Ev­ery year more than 95,000 ba­bies are cared for in neona­tal units in the UK be­cause they have been born pre­ma­turely (be­fore 37 weeks), or full term (af­ter that time) but poorly.

“I went to see him ev­ery day in hos­pi­tal,” said Jes­sica.

“At times when you are on a jour­ney like that you of­ten can’t see light at the end of the tun­nel. It’s amaz­ing that we came through the other side.

“It was lovely to have Joseph home for Christ­mas. He was on oxy­gen un­til he was five months old.

“He started to crawl prop­erly on his first birth­day and in Fe­bru­ary 2016, he started to walk.”

In April 2016, Jes­sica was bap­tised af­ter her faith be­came stronger dur­ing what she went through with her son.

She never thought she would be able

to have chil­dren due to is­sues with her men­strual cy­cle and signs of en­dometrio­sis, a con­di­tion where the tis­sue that lines the womb is found out­side it, such as in the ovaries and fal­lop­ian tubes.

When she dis­cov­ered she was preg­nant dur­ing a shop­ping trip in Bris­tol, she said she never thought it would be such a roller­coaster.

Now three, Joseph still fits into clothes for 12-18 months and was a lit­tle slower than other chil­dren to pick up speech, but his mum and her part­ner Chris are thrilled by his progress.

“He’s the light of my life,” said Jes­sica. “The only way you can de­scribe him re­ally is a lit­tle mir­a­cle.

“He’s bril­liant, cheeky, very de­ter­mined and very much like me.

“Con­sid­er­ing I didn’t think he would make it out of hos­pi­tal he is do­ing amaz­ing.

“I look at him ev­ery day and I’m so grate­ful he’s here.”

» Chel­tenham and Glouces­ter Hos­pi­tals Char­ity has launched a CT Scan­ner Ap­peal.The £1.2m ap­peal has been launched to buy two new mo­bile dig­i­tal X-ray ma­chines and three new CT scan­ners for Chel­tenham Gen­eral and Gloucestershire Royal Hos­pi­tal.Al­most 80,000 peo­ple a yuear have a CT scan or mo­bile X-ray at the hos­pi­tals - a num­ber which rises ev­ery year.This state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy will make a huge dif­fer­ence for peo­ple with a wide range of con­di­tions, in­clud­ing those fight­ing can­cer or heart dis­ease, emer­gency pa­tients and pre­ma­ture ba­bies who need ur­gent med­i­cal treat­ment. Joseph Buck­land when he was al­lowed to go home

Joseph Buck­land af­ter he was born and, right, aged three

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