Tom’s Story

Nicola, Mum of Tom, knows only too well how important a pulse oximetry machine is; if Tom hadn’t been tested, his heart condition may not have been picked up – and they may have  a very different story to tell today.

“My son, Tom Myles Haggarty was born on the 24th November 2015. We had no idea that there was anything wrong with his heart when he was born. The following day he had a routine check by a paediatric doctor who detected a heart murmur- he wasn’t concerned and said it would likely resolve by the next day.

The paediatrician returned and checked Tom again, this time with a pulse oximeter – his oxygenation was around 80% (levels should be 95-99%). He was immediately transferred to neonatal intensive care. There then followed a very worrying few hours while they tried to establish what was wrong with him. He had transposition of the great arteries (TGA), ventricular septal defect (VSD) and atrial septal defect (ASD). He had to have open heart surgery the following week which, luckily, was successful. Tom is now a bright, very tall and perfect two year old toddler.

My husband (Jonathan) and I truly believe that the use of the pulse oximeter saved his life. TGA cases are relatively stable initially until a duct closes and they can then die suddenly. We cannot bear to think what may have happened if we had been allowed to go home on that occasion. Luckily Tom was born in a hospital well equipped to deal with these cases; had he been born in a smaller midwife-led unit we may not have been so lucky.”

 

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