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Mum's half and half hospital thanks

A relieved mother has run two half marathons to say a whole lot of thanks to the NHS staff who saved her daughter’s life.

Cerys Silverwood (left with her mum Jo) was born 11 weeks early, weighing only 2lb 4oz, in Singleton Hospital, Swansea, in August 2018.

Her mother, Jo, experienced complications well before her daughter’s due date and required emergency surgery.

As Jo and her husband, Bob, live in Hay on Wye she was originally taken to her local hospital in Abergavenny but such was the seriousness of her condition she was transferred to Swansea.

Cerys spent 6 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) followed by another six week stay in Hereford special care baby unit.

Jo said: “I had unexpectedly started suffering from gestational hypertension, which led to a placental abruption and resulted in Cerys being delivered by emergency caesarean.

“I was rushed to hospital in Abergavenny but because my condition was so serious, and because they didn’t have the necessary specialised unit I was transferred to Singleton in Swansea.

“There is no doubt the team there – who were absolutely fantastic – saved our daughter’s life.”

Once little Cerys started showing signs of recovering from such an early start in life she was transferred to Herford County Hospital in order to make it easier for her mum and dad to visit.

Jo said: “Fortunately we were able to stay in family accommodation opposite Singleton Hospital but Cerys was later transferred to Hereford to make it easier to visit.”

Cerys is now approaching her 5th birthday and enjoys a full and healthy life thanks to the early care she received.
Jo said: “We’ll never forget how much the staff at Swansea NICU did for us. 

“During this time, Cerys needed very specialist care to build up her strength and stability to enable her to come home with us. She had many ups and downs during this time, most notably being bouts of apnoea causing her to stop breathing on a daily basis.

“We were catapulted into a world we didn’t know existed, and had to find strength we didn’t know we possessed. The care Cerys received and the support we were provided with during this stressful and traumatic time was exceptional. 

“I’m thrilled to say that Cerys is now a happy, healthy little girl and started school in September.”

The couple wanted to raise some money for the teams in Swansea and Hereford so Jo registered for both the Swansea and Hereford half marathons and Bob organised a plant sale.

Cerys Silverwood

Each team was recently presented with £900. 

Jo said: “The staff at these hospitals work tirelessly treating and supporting critically ill babies and their families every day. 

“Funds could be used to replace or purchase new equipment and to improve facilities available to staff and parents on the units. 

“Having a child in intensive care can be a very alienating and surreal experience, and we’d like to help make life a little easier for other parents.”

Dr Sujoy Banerjee, consultant neonatologist and clinical director of children and young people services at Singleton Hospital, said: “It is lovely to see Cerys enjoying a healthy, active and fulfilling childhood, despite a vulnerable start to life. 

“Stories like this drive our highly motivated staff to do even better and also offer hope to many families who have premature babies going through intensive care.

“I am glad that Jo and Bob had a positive experience at Singleton Neonatal Unit. We are very grateful and humbled that they have chosen our unit in their outstanding fundraising effort. 

“Any funds will be used to improve facilities and care provisions for babies and their families, and offer additional educational opportunities for staff.”

If this story has inspired you to raise funds for your local NHS then Swansea Bay Health Charity would love to hear from you. Email the charity team at:

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