Critical Care and Rehab, a place no father would go willingly, bereft of all control, a feeling of overwhelming frustration and sheer panic. All control has gone and you now rely on medical professionals to do what they’re paid to do. The unwavering protection and instinct you have surrounded your child with and nurtured from birth are now beyond your reach, a stranger has your daughter’s life in their hands.
Were there any warning signs? Did I miss something obvious? How did we get here? What happened to her? Who did it? and why has this happened? Are the initial questions and reactions to finding an otherwise healthy child in a coma in an ICU unit. Most likely you won’t remember any of the first few hours when you arrive but subconsciously they will have a huge effect on your psychological and physical state a few weeks down the line.
Having been with my daughter Jessica only two hours before she visited our local Accident & Emergency department, during an evening meal I was aware she felt a little short of breath and had lost her appetite. But she had always been a fussy eater so no alarm bells there. She also had a pulsating neck vein on the right side of her neck which had been visible since she was seven months pregnant.
Jessica’s notes from the Maternity ward at Ipswich Hospital for each day, post delivery contain the word “well”. There were no obvious abnormalities or heart rate measurements, temperature or blood pressure reading. When I questioned the Hospital about the lack of observations, they remarked: “everything appeared normal, so we wouldn’t routinely take them.”
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