A mum from Hutton is urging people to stay away from young babies when they are ill after her nine-week old baby ended up in Manchester Children’s Hospital, fighting for her life.Advertisement
Within 24 hours of taking baby Charlotte to the GP with a sniffle, Catherine Greenwood, 26, and her daughter were in a specialist ambulance being blue lighted to the intensive care unit in Manchester.
Charlotte spent five and a half days under sedation with a ventilator to assist her breathing, followed by a week on the high dependency unit (HDU) as she was not strong enough to fight the infection on her own.
She has now made a full recovery but Catherine wants to warn others about the dangers of simple winter germs.
She says: “People just don’t realise that something as simple as a common cold can be life threatening for a child.
“I understand there are always going to be things you can’t get away from – coughs and colds, sickness bugs, but we all know we’re supposed to sneeze into a tissue and wash our hands. People just seem so lackadaisical about it.
“They need to be more careful about hand washing and hygiene.”
Charlotte was just nine weeks old when she started with a sniffle in November.
After taking advice from her health visitor, Catherine dropped her son Tommy, 20 months, off at nursery and went to the GP with Charlotte.
But once they arrived at the surgery, the doctor referred them straight up to the children’s ward, Ward 8, at Royal Preston Hospital, for treatment.
She was given nebulisers and oxygen, but as her condition continued to deteriorate, doctors decided she needed to transfer to intensive care.
Catherine said: “We were blue lighted to Manchester which was a bit of a shock. We’d literally taken her to the GP in the morning with a bit of a cold.”
A specialist team travelled with Catherine and Charlotte to the children’s hospital in Manchester, with Charlotte incubated to help her feed.
Catherine and her husband Denis stayed with Charlotte while their son was looked after by family at home.
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But Catherine says: “The little boy next to us, he was 11 months, with bronchialitis, the same as Charlotte, and he went into cardiac arrest, toxic shock syndrome, collapsed lung, pneumonia…
“We were sat there seeing how other children are coping with this, who are a little bit older and have got a little bit more of an immune system and she was tiny. We were thinking the absolute worst.
“People just forget how fragile babies are. They remember to stay away from people who are being treated for cancer or have lowered immune systems but they want to cuddle and kiss a baby. I’d just ask people to think twice.”