Sick baby 'would have died on journey to Carmarthen'

Western Telegraph: THANK GOODNESS FOR WITHYBUSH: Jamie-Lee Irving with twins Harry (left) and Thomas, now doing well at home.PICTURE: Western Telegraph. (5230034) THANK GOODNESS FOR WITHYBUSH: Jamie-Lee Irving with twins Harry (left) and Thomas, now doing well at home.PICTURE: Western Telegraph. (5230034)

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

Comments (3)

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7:45am Thu 10 Apr 14

Tttoommy says...

I'm sad and sorry to say that stories like this will not affect the decision makers at all - they've saved money, some scorecard will be ticked, a HUGE bonus will be earned.
Stories of deaths ? It will cause them as much sorrow as being told of a fly being swatted, now IF the national express started picking on them , their names on the front page of the sun, their spouses and children villified and insulted ?
I'm sad and sorry to say that stories like this will not affect the decision makers at all - they've saved money, some scorecard will be ticked, a HUGE bonus will be earned. Stories of deaths ? It will cause them as much sorrow as being told of a fly being swatted, now IF the national express started picking on them , their names on the front page of the sun, their spouses and children villified and insulted ? Tttoommy
  • Score: 2

11:48am Thu 10 Apr 14

Tttoommy says...

express? Press of course ;)
express? Press of course ;) Tttoommy
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Bilbo101 says...

I think it obviously clear that the decision makers are not that interested when it comes to Pembrokeshire and we the residents and tax payers seem always to be having our services downgraded, whether it be by the health board or by BPJ self-serving councillor collective. They are not working for our benefit that is for sure.

So what can we do about it ? Very little it would seem except protest our views.

I wonder how much it would cost per year to save this essential service from disappearing from Withybush ??? Whatever the cost it would be good if we somehow were able to save this unit because IT WILL SAVE LIVES. Maybe a simplistic and unworkable solution but could we not raise the money ourselves ( again ) and fund the continuation of this vital service ? I wonder how much it would cost but I am sure it would not be more than a few pounds donation for every resident of Pembrokeshire. Maybe local businesses could also help out ? Maybe OUR health board would consider such a proposal or are they hell bent on empire building in Glangwili and implementing a proposal that is most definitely going to result in lives of young Pembrokeshire babies being lost. How many babies are going to have to die as a result of this change before our politicians step in and say enough is enough. Who is big enough and brave enough to step up and take on this health board ?

Yesterday during PM Questions MP Tim Farron asked the prime minister if he agreed that people living in rural Britain have as much right to a decent quality and safe healthcare as anybody else and if he did then would he look into the issue of protecting Westmorland General Hospital services, to which David Cameron agreed and said that he was happy to look into the the case. Does anybody know what efforts our MP Stephen Crabb is making to help save our health services ? I am sure he on the case but I have not heard much lately and it would be good if he was a little more vocal like Tim Fallon and then maybe David Cameron would personally look into this situation. I realise that heath is now the responsibility of the Welsh Assembly but as they are incompetent then maybe the PM could step in ;-) Fat chance, where all bugg***d
I think it obviously clear that the decision makers are not that interested when it comes to Pembrokeshire and we the residents and tax payers seem always to be having our services downgraded, whether it be by the health board or by BPJ self-serving councillor collective. They are not working for our benefit that is for sure. So what can we do about it ? Very little it would seem except protest our views. I wonder how much it would cost per year to save this essential service from disappearing from Withybush ??? Whatever the cost it would be good if we somehow were able to save this unit because IT WILL SAVE LIVES. Maybe a simplistic and unworkable solution but could we not raise the money ourselves ( again ) and fund the continuation of this vital service ? I wonder how much it would cost but I am sure it would not be more than a few pounds donation for every resident of Pembrokeshire. Maybe local businesses could also help out ? Maybe OUR health board would consider such a proposal or are they hell bent on empire building in Glangwili and implementing a proposal that is most definitely going to result in lives of young Pembrokeshire babies being lost. How many babies are going to have to die as a result of this change before our politicians step in and say enough is enough. Who is big enough and brave enough to step up and take on this health board ? Yesterday during PM Questions MP Tim Farron asked the prime minister if he agreed that people living in rural Britain have as much right to a decent quality and safe healthcare as anybody else and if he did then would he look into the issue of protecting Westmorland General Hospital services, to which David Cameron agreed and said that he was happy to look into the the case. Does anybody know what efforts our MP Stephen Crabb is making to help save our health services ? I am sure he on the case but I have not heard much lately and it would be good if he was a little more vocal like Tim Fallon and then maybe David Cameron would personally look into this situation. I realise that heath is now the responsibility of the Welsh Assembly but as they are incompetent then maybe the PM could step in ;-) Fat chance, where all bugg***d Bilbo101
  • Score: 0

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