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James and Chloe would like to raise some needed funds for the intensive care units at both Wrexham Maelor and Bolton hospitals (adult and neonatal), as well as Spoons, the charity that supported them through their difficult journey.

Their beautiful baby boy, Jude, was born 15 weeks premature on the 19th November 2022, weighing 1lb 4oz (640g). Jude’s original due date was the 3rd March 2023.

On Saturday 19th November 2022, Chloe was at the Cae Ras stadium just about to watch Wrexham AFC kick-off against Aldershot Town when she started to experience severe pain in the top of her stomach. Up until this point, Chloe’s pregnancy had been completely normal. She was rushed to Wrexham hospital by James’s parents and shortly after arriving, it became apparent that things were not looking good for both Chloe and her unborn baby. Chloe was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and despite multiple attempts to lower her blood pressure it became apparent that the situation was becoming increasingly dangerous. James at the time was on the football pitch and had in fact, just scored . Fortunately the message got through to him, by the excellent staff at Wrexham and Phil Parkinson immediately substituted him and sent him on his way. Still wearing his football kit, he was driven to the Maelor hospital by his Dad where Chloe and their unborn baby were in desperate trouble. Initially James received the news that Chloe might be ‘turning the corner’ only for the situation to rapidly worsen and within 15 minutes after arriving, he was ushered into a private room to be given the terrible news that if action wasn’t taken immediately both Chloe and their baby would not survive. Jude was delivered by emergency caesarean section shortly afterwards. He was born extremely premature at just 25 weeks + 1 day. Jude only had a 40% survival rate due to being born so early and in a category 2 hospital . Neither Chloe nor Jude would have survived if the emergency caesarean had not been performed when it had.
Jude was transferred within hours to Bolton neonatal intensive care unit.

Unfortunately there were further complications for Chloe. The pre eclampsia turned into HELLP syndrome, which lead to Chloe having two seizures and multiple organ failure and requiring kidney dialysis.

This was an incredibly difficult situation for James, especially in the first few days as Jude was in Bolton Neonatal Intensive Care and Chloe was in Wrexham Maelor Intensive Care. James’s parents in particular spent aIot of time being with Jude whilst James was in Wrexham with Chloe, it meant so much to James knowing that Jude wasn’t on his own when he couldn’t be there. James is so grateful to his parents.

Jude was in hospital for 122 days in total which were the hardest days of their lives. They lived at the hospital accommodation during this time, which meant they were able to stay close to be there constantly for Jude and his ‘rollercoaster’ journey.

Jude’s story:
Jude was in intensive care on a ventilator before being slowly weaned onto a CPAP machine, followed by a Duo Pap machine, Optiflow machine and then eventually, 100% oxygen.

Our tiny baby was heel pricked every hour for the first few weeks of his life, along with many cannulas, long lines, IV’s and monitors attached to him. The amount of these were less often the older he got but it didn’t make it any easier to see him cry in pain each time.

James and I would sit next to his incubator for hours on end, every day, looking at our tiny fragile baby and all the numbers on his monitor, praying that he would survive. At times, we believed he wouldn’t.

There were two occasions when Jude’s nurse had to pull the emergency cord as he was in a critical condition. There is nothing more terrifying than seeing a room full of nurses and doctors run over to your baby without hesitation, to try and save their life.
No baby should have to go through that and no parent should ever have to watch. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.

We cannot thank the nurses, doctors and consultants enough for saving me and Jude. The work they do day in, day out, is amazing. There really are no words for how much it means to us, Jude is our whole world.

We would also like to thank the charity ‘Spoons’ for supporting us through our journey at Bolton Neonatal.

Chlo’s Story:
HELLP syndrome stands for:
Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzyme levels, and Low Platelet levels.

I vaguely remember a doctor telling me that my baby may have to be delivered. It’s not something I thought I would ever hear at only 6 months pregnant.
It is a vague and blurry memory from the moment I was rushed to hospital. My blood pressure was dangerously high and I had been given so many medications. It is a very upsetting memory.

After Jude was delivered, I had two seizures. The start of the first one I remember vividly. I was so frightened. I remember hearing James saying that he loved me and that it was going to be OK. During my episodes, hearing his voice helped me find my way back. I’m so grateful to have such an incredible husband by my side.

Usually with pre-eclampsia, after removing the placenta, you should start to recover, unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for me.
My organs started to shut down one by one. I remember being told that the doctors were affectively trying to keep my organs going until my body realised my placenta had been removed.
My kidneys were failing which lead to my body swelling to such an extent, it filled my lungs with fluid so I was struggling to breathe, even with the help of oxygen. I remember laying on the hospital bed, looking at my mum and James both holding my hand and looking at me with such fear in their eyes and me thinking, what if this is the end for me.

I was in intensive care for 9 days before being moved to high dependency and then onto the postnatal ward for 26 days in total. I was bed bound for so long that I couldn’t stand without support. I was desperate to see Jude and had to be wheeled down to the neonatal unit to see my little boy.

Jude and James were the main things that kept me going, I am so thankful to have them.

I am so proud to say that Jude had my breast milk for the first 4 months of his life. The nurses, james and my mum all helped to express me whilst I didn’t have the strength to do it myself, it meant the world to me to be able to provide him with my milk when he needed it most.

Jude left hospital on 21st March 2023. He left without oxygen which was a huge accomplishment for Jude as not many babies born so early are able to leave without oxygen.

Us now:
Jude is beating all odds and is absolutely thriving!
He is smashing every milestone and is the happiest little boy!

Jude has chronic lung disease and an adrenal insufficiency as a result of his extreme prematurity and needing courses of steroids whilst in hospital. Despite his difficult start he is dealing with everything incredibly well.

Going through what we did still affects us regularly and probably always will, we both take great comfort knowing that Jude won’t remember the trauma he went through though. Jude is still on lots of daily medications and has many different medical appointments but it is a credit to the NHS the care and after care he is still receiving.

We are so proud of him for being so strong and brave through absolutely everything he’s had to endure. It is an honour to be his parents and we love every second of it.

Someone was looking out for us on the 19th November, if we hadn’t have gone to watch James play at Wrexham, we wouldn’t have been across the road from the hospital and we wouldn’t be alive today.

We would like to thank all the friends and family that supported us through our difficult journey. We will forever be grateful for those who went above and beyond with countless visits, food brought to the hospital and all the many other things big and small which made our time in hospital that little bit easier and helped us get through the experience.



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Chloe Jones

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