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Harvey's story

An emotional rollercoaster

Harvey was born by emergency caesarean section in Guernsey after I went into spontaneous labour with no warning “the silent labour”.

Harvey was one of a twin and both boys were feet first so had to come out of the sunroof!

They both had a 50/50 chance of survival at that point, something I will never forget being told by Miss Reed. Both boys were transferred to Southampton within 24 hours, each on a separate flight, dad travelled too. Sadly Freddy died within 24 hours of reaching Southampton. Because of the circumstances mum was able to travel across to say goodbye to Freddy and to be with Harvey as he started his incredible journey.

Initially it was hour by hour, then gradually it was day by day as Harvey battled for survival. At 3 weeks he had heart surgery to close a valve that hadn’t closed due to his prematurity. Harvey struggled to get off the ventilator and had to have steroids as he couldn’t do it on his own.

He was moved on to bubble cpap and eventually onto ordinary cpap. Harvey spent 8 weeks in intensive care and only when he moved out of intensive care into the nursery next door did we actually begin to think that he may survive.

After the critical period was over I stayed with Harvey during the week and Darren travelled over at weekends when I went home to be with our other two children who were only 6 at the time. Thankfully my mum took them under her wing with the help of many other friends and family. After another 5 weeks Harvey had improved enough to travel back to Guernsey. After a long and nervous journey we finally arrived back home, such a relief to have our family reunited. Harvey went from strength to strength and eventually left hospital 3 weeks after his original due date!

We have been extremely lucky with Harvey. He has not suffered from any major developmental problems. As time goes by he is catching up with his peers and hopefully by the time he goes to school next year he will just be the same as everyone else in terms of his physical development. Harvey is full of fun, he adores football and his scooter, and has recently started play school which he loves. We know how lucky we are as his chances of being a “normal child” were very slim. Of course each step Harvey takes is tinged with sadness that his brother isn’t with us.

We are extremely indebted to the nurses and doctors that have helped Harvey along the way, and also looked after us, it was such an emotional rollercoaster.