By Connie Osborne Thursday 06 December 2012 Updated: 07/12 10:26
A MOTHER has praised quick-thinking hospital staff who saved her newborn baby from brain damage.
Bev Wilkinson, from Redditch, thanked doctors and nurses at the Alexandra Hospital after a routine check showed her daughter Amelia had a rare condition which could lead to impaired growth and mental development.
The disorder known as congenital hypothyroidism is a severe thyroid deficiency that affects about one in 3,500 children in the UK.
She said: “I remember the midwife telling us not to worry because these conditions are so rare, it’s just a precaution.
“We thought nothing more about it but when the phone rang a couple of days later and Dr Tom Dawson asked us to come into the children’s clinic straight away to discuss Amelia’s test results, the fear we felt was incredible. We had no idea what could have been detected.”
Dr Dawson requested another blood test to double-check the diagnosis, but the second test results revealed the same condition and the family were called back to the hospital straight away so Amelia’s treatment could begin.
“When we arrived at the children’s ward, they were amazing, they had a room ready for us with all the equipment needed to treat Amelia’s condition," she added.
“We were petrified and so upset, the staff were so comforting to us as parents and gave the best support we could have received.
“I sat up all night watching my precious baby wondering if she was going to be ok, staff sat with me and got me through a night I will never forget.”
Amelia endured blood tests every 12 hours and over the following weeks she regularly visited the hospital for treatment as her levels of jaundice peaked and dropped.
She added: “During the first four terrifying months of Amelia’s life Dr Dawson was outstanding. He gave my husband and I the best support we could have asked for, he was on the end of an e-mail or telephone whenever we had worries or concerns.
“I don’t think we would have coped as well as we did without him being Amelia’s paediatrician.”
Now eight-months-old, Amelia has regular blood tests in the children’s clinic and along with medication she has continued to improve.
Although she will need care for the rest of her life, Mrs Wilkinson said she felt reassured her daughter’s needs will be met.
“Without the children’s clinic being so quick in treating Amelia we might not have the very happy little girl who is developing correctly and reaching all her milestones.”
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