A mum-of-three has been told that one of her baby twins would have died if he had needed to travel further than Withybush Hospital for treatment from his home in Haverfordwest.
Four-week-old Thomas Irving stopped breathing when he was admitted to the children’s ward of Withybush.
A consultant in Cardiff later said that the little boy would not have survived if he had to be taken the distance to Carmarthen’s Glangwili Hospital from Haverfordwest
Mum Jamie-Lee Irving is now adding her voice to the protest against Pembrokeshire hospital cuts, which plan to remove both Special Care Baby Unit and paediatric in-patient services from Withybush.
She said she and her family are even considering moving nearer to Carmarthen to be nearer specialist treatment in the future.
A ‘week from hell’ for 27-year-old Jamie-Lee, her husband Jonathan and their family saw each of their three sons needing to be admitted to Withybush.
Their eldest, three-and-a-half-year-old Ethan was hospitalised with a viral infection, and two hours after he came home on March 29th, Jamie-Lee was back in the children’s ward with Thomas and his twin brother Harry, who were suffering from the lower respiratory tract infection bronchiolitis.
“Thomas stopped breathing on the hospital bed and had to be ventilated,” she said this week.
“As Withybush don’t have the facilities to cater for a ventilated baby, he was stabilised and we were told he was going to be rushed to Cardiff for him to be cared for at the paediatric intensive care unit at the Heath.”
Thomas spent three days there before being transferred back to Withybush, and is now home at Haven Park Drive, Haverfordwest, after making a good recovery.
In the meantime, Harry also needed two further admissions to the Withybush children’s ward.
“They told me in Cardiff that if we had not taken Thomas to hospital that night, we would have found him dead in the morning, and if he had gone to Glangwili for treatment, he would not have survived the journey,” said Jamie-Lee.
“It is just a terrifying thought, and one which actually makes us consider moving closer to Carmarthen.
"It would be a travesty if these services are stopped.“
She praised the ‘exceptional care’ which all the family received from the staff at Withybush.
“I just cannot fault the level of care,” she told the Western Telegraph.
“Every member of the staff is worth their weight in gold.
"They not only look after the babies and children, but they look after the parents as well."
Hywel Dda Health Board has always maintained that it will only make changes and introduce services which are safe and sustainable.
The latest protest to save services at Withybush takes place this Sunday, April 13. It will leave Pembrokeshire County Hall at 11am. Please arrive in good time. The march will make its way up Prendergast towards the hospital. For more information search for the Save Withybush Action Team on Favebook.