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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

‘Our daughter wouldn’t be alive now without the SCBU’ - Barrow couple

THE parents of a baby born 15 weeks prematurely say they are “disgusted” by the news that the consultant-led maternity service and Special Care Baby Unit at Furness General Hospital will be transferred to Lancaster.

Well-known Barrow singers, Denis and Beth Horan, say they could have lost their baby daughter were it not for the care she received at FGH’s Special Care Baby Unit in December.

Mr Horan, 36, of Coniston Road, who along with partner Beth performs as the Bublé and Adele tribute act, said: “When we heard the news we felt disgusted that a much-needed service was being taken out of Barrow.

“Babies will die. What price can you put on a baby’s life?

“Our daughter Lucy wouldn’t be alive now if the special care unit wasn’t there.”

Their daughter Lucy Ella was born 15 weeks prematurely on December 10, weighing just 1lb 9oz. Ms Horan, 30, said: “What’s going to happen now?

“When I was admitted the consultant Mr Bamigboye was constantly in the room with me and Lucy and I am sure it was his expertise that saved us. There would not have been time to get me to Lancaster. I gave birth to Lucy by emergency caesarian section less than two hours after being admitted to Furness General.”

Mr Horan said: “Beth had a placental abruption and was haemorrhaging, Lucy was in a lateral birth position. The doctors told me that if they’d left it another five minutes I could’ve lost one or both of them.”

Now 32 weeks old and weighing 2lb 2oz, Lucy was transferred from hospital in Manchester to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on Thursday.

“The plan was to move her closer to home and then back to Barrow in a couple of weeks once she was having full feeds and off the breathing apparatus.

“Lucy wasn’t even due until March 20 and so now it looks like she’ll be in Lancaster till then at least,” said Ms Horan.

Now the family’s hopes to have their daughter in Barrow have been dashed and they face at least two more months of travelling daily to see Lucy in Lancaster.

The financial implications are enormous for the couple who have already spent all of their savings on petrol and accommodation costs while Lucy has been treated at hospitals in Preston, Lancaster and Manchester.

Mr Horan said: “We are both singers and reliant on gigs for our income. So when Lucy was born we lost all of our Christmas and New Year gigs. There is just no provision for people like us.”

The couple spent up to five nights a week in Preston during the first weeks of Lucy’s life. “We had a room at the hospital when it was available but more often than not often we had to sleep on a friend’s floor or pay for a Travelodge,” said Denis, before he added, “All the money we had for our future is gone now. It costs us £350 just in petrol each week, then there’s accommodation costs and buying meals.”

He added: “Although Lancaster is closer to home, we are still faced with the cost of getting there and back each day or paying for accommodation if we want to stay over with Lucy.

“They say that Barrow’s SCBU is being closed temporarily but I think once it is taken away we won’t get it back again. I think babies are going to die and it’s all down to money.

For a full interview with Denis and Beth about how baby Lucy is doing and the debt of gratitude they owe to hospital staff and their friends and supporters in Barrow, see the Your Health section in Wednesday’s Evening Mail.

Have your say

My son and I would not be alive today if FGH hadn't helped us 21 years ago this April. The Paedriatric Constultant Stayed overnight to care for my son so he would not be transferred to Manchester as I was in ICU in Barrow.
We are eternally grateful.

Posted by Helen Low on 5 February 2013 at 15:29

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