Fundraiser for NHS lifesavers
ASCHOOL has raised money for a hospital unit which helped save the life of their teacher’s baby son.
Mike Samulewski, a teacher at Haslingden High School, and his wife Sarah underwent IVF treatment, producing one viable egg.
However, at 20 weeks gestation, their son Freddie was diagnosed with ParvoVirus B19 - also known as slap cheek - which can be fatal in pregnancy. They were horrified when a scan showed a large build up of fluid around their son’s heart.
Mr Samulewski said they were originally told that it was unlikely to be treatable.
He explained: “It looked like it was a genetic issue with the foetus and to consider a termination.
“Thankfully blood tests came back showing that Freddie had contracted the virus, which meant there was hope.”
A termination was the last thing they could consider. The Samulewskis, who live in Timperley, Manchester were referred to the Fetal Medicine Unit (FMU) at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, for scans and check-ups.
Freddie needed a blood transfusion while still in the womb, but were told that carried the risk of miscarriage or could have caused his death.
Doctors ended up giving their son three intrauterine transfusions but while his condition improved, Sarah then got ill with ‘Mirror Syndrome’ - everything wrong with Freddie had been transferred to her and her organs were failing.
Mr Samulewski said Sarah was kept in hospital for six weeks to stabilising her condition.
He said: “Sarah had to have bed rest, and I am grateful to Haslingden High School headteacher Mark Jackson for giving me the time off.
“We were in and out of hospital three times a week and had more than 60 scans of Freddie. Doctors named him Freddie the fighter before he was even born because very few babies would survive what he has been through and the name has stuck.
“He is our miracle baby. We owe the FMU team everything, without them there is no doubt that Freddie wouldn’t be here with us now. We will be forever grateful.”
Freddie was born on August 22 weighing 6lb 4oz and has just been christened.
Haslingden High School students took part in a Class 2 Grass running challenge this week to raise money for the unit. To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/FreddiesStory. ●● Mike and Sarah Samulewski with their miracle baby Freddie ESCORTED HOLIDAY