A mother-of-two has spoken of how she became stranded hundreds of miles from home after giving birth to her son prematurely in Aberdeen.
Amy Jenkins had made the 400-mile journey north to Findochty, near Buckie, to celebrate her father’s retirement.
At 35 weeks pregnant, she never considered she would give birth prematurely.
However, as the celebrations got under way she started to experience back pain.
Concerned by her symptoms she went to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin where doctors diagnosed with her pre-eclampsia.
In light of her condition, Amy was transferred to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, where her symptoms intensified.
On Wednesday August 23, she gave birth to their son, Brody, five weeks premature and weighing just four pounds 12 ounces.
He was taken to the hospital’s neonatal unit as Amy, her husband Alex and their four-year-old son Jude watched over them.
‘Premature birth incredibly stressful’
Speaking about the ordeal, the mother-of-two said it was extremely “stressful.”
She said: “It was an incredibly stressful situation, coming to terms with having our son in an incubator, and I was worried where we would stay while Brody received treatment.”
As their son underwent specialist treatment, the family of four found themselves stranded and unprepared hundreds of miles from home in Worcestershire.
After spending almost the first two weeks of his life in hospital, the young tot was discharged.
He is now settled at home and continues to thrive.
‘I will be forever grateful to The Archie Foundation’
More than two months on from the ordeal, the family have praised The Archie Foundation for helping them to find their feet in their time of need.
Their praise for the charity comes as the nation celebrates World Prematurity Day.
The charity stepped in to offer the family a safe place to stay and a financial grant to cover unforeseen expenses in the Granite City.
The grant also allowed the family to purchase a suitable car seat ahead of Brody’s discharge from the hospital.
Gillian Thom, support manager for the charity, was the Jenkins’ family’s first line of contact and became a comforting face in the Archie Family Centre, where the family were accommodated during their time in Aberdeen.
Amy added: “Gillian was such a friendly, welcoming person and her support was incredible. We were offered somewhere to stay on the hospital grounds to be close to Brody, which was such a relief.
“Financial strains are upsetting at the best of times, let alone when you’re miles from home with a newborn baby, so it was a huge weight off our shoulders to know we were supported.
“I will be forever grateful to The Archie Foundation for helping us when we needed it most.”
Support on offer to those experiencing premature birth
Paula Cormack, chief executive of The Archie Foundation, said: “We understand how distressing it can be to find yourself at hospital with your child and we do whatever possible to make this difficult experience that little bit easier.
“Our support and services for neonatal families includes financial support, access to overnight accommodation, funding specialist equipment, providing hot drinks and snacks in the unit, training for staff and so much more.”