I write this from the heart, because this is about my family. Miracles don’t often happen, but I am glad this one did! I don’t see her very often due to being in different time zones, but I smile at every picture I see or comment I read.
My cousin Sarah gave birth, in the Grimsby Maternity Hospital, to a beautiful girl at 3.03am on the 25th August 2010. Lauren she was named. She was born premature at 25 weeks and 5 days and only weighing 1lb 15.5oz.
Lauren was transferred to the Jessops Neonatal Unit in Sheffield where she spent four weeks. Her mum Sarah described this time as a roller-coaster, “one minute you are on the top of the coaster seconds later you at the bottom, as she has an infection.”
Sarah got to hold her left hand as Robert stroked her left foot, before being rushed away for four hours. Sarah and Robert never got to hold their daughter for two and half weeks after she was born. Being a mother myself I know of the need to hold your baby as soon as possible. I’d have been devastated if I had to wait. They soon found out why they were apart from their newborn (the four hours not the two and half weeks) for so long. Lauren was tiny as you can imagine; looking lost in the giant incubator, hooked up to numerous machines, with wires coming from everywhere. Sarah and Robert, even though they faced a difficult time, never gave up hope and never took for granted the first moments holding their precious baby girl. After four weeks in Sheffield Lauren was transferred to Grimsby Neonatal Unit; she stayed there for eight weeks before being able to go home. Lauren continued to have regular growth check-ups with the consultant and Physiotherapy at the Children’s Development Centre in Grimsby. Lauren also had a small hole in her heart, but that closed up with no problems thankfully. In 2011 Lauren had a collapsed lung. She has been discharged from both hospitals as of 2014, Grimsby and Sheffield.
You are all probably wondering why I have chosen now to write their story an epic four years later. I have read and know of many in the past year who have been going through a similar situation. I always try to inspire and raise hope where many feel there isn’t any. I often tell this story, but it always comes out in bits and pieces. So I decided to write a full account, to inspire and give hope to those who are going through this. To show they are not alone, but also to give thanks and credit where it is due. I wanted to show you that Lauren is a striving, healthy four year old and that miracles do happen.
Sarah, Robert and family over and over again praise all the staff for their care and support. These people will never ever be forgotten for what they have done for the care for Lauren, they helped save her life and this message is inscribed in the hearts of all that know Lauren. Lauren herself is praised for being a little fighter, a little star, which she is. Two people that seem to have been forgotten in the singing of praises are you, Sarah and Robert. As your cousin I am proud that you have come through this. I see in your smiles and your eyes that you take nothing for granted, that you live life to its fullest. It takes a certain kind of strength, a certain type of person to find the ability to not fall to pieces. I can imagine you had your times, but at the end of the day you were there for Lauren. Every day now you have been given the gift of a child, but now every day you are giving others the gift of hope.
Not only did you go through all of this, you wanted to do something nice, something to give back to those who had helped you. You decided to take part in an event “Barcelona Bangers” and you successfully raised £3,525,25 for the Grimsby Neonatal Unit.
Taken off the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grimsby-Neonatal-Unit-Barcelona-Bangers-2013/306157062839134?ref=ts&fref=ts):
“This is different from any other car rally we know. Teams have to find a car within a £250 budget, paint it, sticker it, do whatever to it. The more bonkers the better!
Then design our own route around the European continent. The competition involves completing bizarre and brilliant challenges, which take teams to all sorts of interesting and alternative places.
Barcelona Bangers is the ultimate road trip and a unique approach to fundraising for this very worthy cause.”
So this is a message for all the mothers, fathers and families going through this – You are amazing! You can do this! Think of the finishing line: you and your precious family enjoying life!