'So special' - blind Mansfield dad praises hospital for guiding him through birth of first child
A blind dad from Mansfield has lavished praise on King's Mill Hospital for turning the hectic birth of his first child into the experience of a lifetime.
Nathan Edge says he would have understood totally if he had been asked to stand aside when partner Emma was rushed into the operating theatre for son Oliver to be delivered via emergency C-section.
But instead he was made to feel welcome by caring staff, who told him what was happening at all times.
Nathan, 27, said: “The hospital staff went above and beyond to ensure that my visual impairment was always considered.
"They gave me an audio description of who was going into the theatre, why and what they were doing. They talked me through everything.
"They made it seem so effortless, so natural. They wanted to make sure I was part of it all.
"I was even able to cut the cord. For me, as a first-time dad, that was so special. It was incredible.”
Nathan, who has been blind since he was 18, said the hospital was even prepared to accommodate his guide dog, Abby, until she was picked up by his dad, Mick.
The day unfolded after Nathan, Emma, 26, and Abby went along to King’s Mill when she suspected her waters had broken.
"We only expected to be there half-an-hour to get checked out, but they noticed that the baby’s heart-rate was dropping,” Nathan said.
"As Emma was already a day overdue, staff recommended inducing.
"Later in the evening, Emma was having regular contractions too often. The baby’s heart-rate was worse and it was felt he was getting too stressed.
"Before we knew it, we had to rush into the labour suite and, 15 minutes later, into theatre.
"Even the emergency alarm was triggered, calling for more people to help.
"Despite all this, and despite still focusing on Emma and the baby, staff made sure I was part of the journey.”
Oliver was born weighing only 6lb 5oz. But now, seven weeks on, he is “happy and healthy”.
What’s more, Emma is doing fine too. “She has been incredible in the way she has dealt with everything,” said proud Nathan.
"She didn’t have the best of pregnancies, and suffered a lot of sickness. But she never complained about the pain and just got on with it.”
The couple are now back home with Abby, and overseeing their successful business, Mansfield Doggy Day Care, which is a nursery for people to leave their pet dogs while at work.
But still at the forefront of their minds is the “exceptional” care they received from staff at King’s Mill on that memorable day. So exceptional that Nathan, an expert YouTube vlogger, was able to capture the whole experience on video.
"I just want to show my gratitude,” said Nathan. “The support was nothing short of incredible and enabled me to be fully involved in one of the greatest moments of my life.
"Even in high-stress situations, when emergency buzzers were pulled and the room was suddenly filled with people, there was always someone communicating with me.
"It would have been completely understandable to have forgotten that the dad is blind, and to focus 100 per cent on mum and baby.
"But their professionalism and willingness to keep me included was remarkable.”