A pulse oximetry test, using a machine placed by Tiny Tickers, set in motion the chain of events that went on to save Felicite’s life. Her mum, Anne-Marie, shares their story:
Felicite is our third baby. Pregnancy was all fine and the scans had no issues. I even managed to avoid theatre and forceps, which we had with Elissa and Joe (my other children). Fantastic, I thought, we’ll be home in time for Christmas. Felicite had finally made her appearance on 23rd December, so we could all be together.
There was a slight hiccup with me post delivery, I was fine and more annoyed that it would potentially keep us in. This was just what I did not want to hear: “You are staying overnight.” Hmmm ok, I understood, but had promised my other children we would be home, just like when they were born.
The pregnancy had all been fine. She was a pickle towards the end, with false starts of not progressing labour. When she was born, Daddy had cuddles while I was being sorted. COVID 19 meant Andy had to go, so he kissed us goodnight and said, “I will see you tomorrow.”
I needed the bathroom, so I laid Felicite in her cot. I thought, Hang on.. she isn’t screaming like my older two would have when not being held. She had cooler hands and looked a bit purpley, too.
I buzzed (and felt awful, as they were so busy). The midwife came to check her with a pulse oximetry machine and said her SATS (blood oxygen saturation levels) had been on the lower side earlier, but she was feeding at the time. She wasn’t feeding now, but they were still low. The pulse oximetry machine came from Tiny Tickers. I found this out after the whirlwind of what was to come.
This low reading triggered the protocol of a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) review. One junior doctor came, and then asked his senior doctor to review.
“We need to look at her under better light,” they said (it was the early hours of the morning.) While waiting, I heard lots of alarms… “We need to take her, Anne”.
I just about managed, then waited for hours with an empty cot.
The pulse oximetry machine, in line with protocol and expert clinicians, saved our daughter’s life. Her heart was struggling, she had something I had never heard of: persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). She needed an immediate echo cardiogram.
All I heard next, despite all the medical jargon, was, “Your daughter is ventilated and the next 48 hours are critical”.
She needed help to breathe, lots of oxygen and drugs to ease the pressure on her heart. She struggled to transition from being in the womb, to having to breathe on her own.
Due to that immediate, life-saving oxygen and fantastic care given by amazing clinicians, we had one week of intensive care and were then discharged on medication.
Felicite is our mischievous third baby, and apart from reviews that are getting less frequent, you would have no idea how critically ill she was. Had we gone home soon after her birth, we would not have her in our lives now.
Tiny Tickers’ equipment, and the clinicians’ expertise, truly saved our daughter’s life, and we are forever grateful to you all.
Tiny Tickers believes every baby should have the test that could help save their life. Find out more about our pulse oximetry appeal, Test for Tommy, here.