This festive period is “extra special” for one Mansfield family as they get to spend their first Christmas at home together.
George Morphus was born with chronic lung disease on Halloween 2016, when mum Cara was just 31 weeks’ pregnant – meaning he spent last Christmas in intensive care at King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton.
Now, 12 months later, they are looking forward to their first Christmas at home in Mansfield.
Cara, aged 27, said: “Spending my baby’s first Christmas in hospital isn’t how I imagined it to be, but the staff on the unit were amazing. They made it as nice as they could.
“There were gifts for the babies, a volunteer dressed as Santa Claus who visited us all and there were carol singers on Christmas morning.”
George was born nine weeks early by caesarean section after his mum developed pre-eclampsia
Cara said: “Within the first few hours of his life, it became apparent George was unwell.
“He had been starved of nutrients in the womb due to the pre-eclampsia and was tiny.
“He was diagnosed with chronic lung disease and needed a ventilator to breathe and keep his lungs open. He was so small and thin you could see his little rib cage and every little intake of breath.”
George was able to go home for the first time, although on oxygen, in February, aged four months, and came off oxygen fully in August.
He is now doing well at home, but still sees a consultant at King’s Mill regularly to ensure he is developing well.
Cara says: “We still pop in to see the staff who cared for George throughout his journey at King’s Mill – they were fantastic and became an extension of our family. They made our time there so much better.”
This Christmas is going to be very different as Cara and George prepare to spend it at home surrounded by family.
Cara said: “I’ve always loved Christmas but this one is going to be extra special and I’ve gone all out.
“It’s going to be incredibly different and I appreciate how lucky we are to be spending this one at home.”
“We’ll be having Christmas Day at our home with my partner and his two children, doing the usual family things like opening presents and playing games, how Christmas should be.”
Before the birth, Ms Morphus, aged 27, realised she had a liver disorder called HELLP syndrome, severe pre-eclampsia, and needed an emergancy caesarean section to stop her bleeding excessively during surgery.
George was born on October 31 2016 and was transferred to a nearby hospital where he stayed for six weeks.
Ms Morphus said: “Within the first few hours of his life it became apparent that George was quite unwell.
“He had been starved of nutrients in the womb due to pre-eclampsia. He was so small and thin that you could see his little rib cage and every intake of breath he took.”
After six weeks he was able to come off the ventilator and return to King’s Mill Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit to continue treatment, where he spent Christmas day last year.
Ms Morphus said staff became and extension of their family, and added: “Spending my baby’s first Christmas at a hospital was not how I imagined it to be, but the staff on the unit were amazing. They made it as nice as they possibly could for us, given the cirumstances.”
In February George was able to go home for the first time but regularly sees a consultant at King’s Mill to check his development.
Rachel Barker, paediatric matron, said: “George was with us for a long time and all the staff on the unit got to know him, mum Cara, and his family well. George was very poorly when he was born so it’s good to see how much he has grown and that he can have Christmas at home this year.”
Ms Morphus said: “I’ve always loved Christams but this one is going to be extra special and I’ve gone all out. We’ll be spending Christams day at our home with my partner and his two children,just how Christmas should be.”