THE FAMILY of baby Charlie Moore from Maguiresbridge, who was born premature at 26 weeks, are on a mission to raise vital funds for the neo-natal units at SWAH and Altnagelvin after the life-changing support they received.
They plan to climb Cuilcagh Mountain in tribute to the health staff who helped them through an extremely challenging period. Described as a “true fighter” who has left his mark on the hearts of many, baby Charlie was born on October 15 last year despite his initial due date of January 20, 2021 during a series of events that would change the lives of doting parents Rebecca Benson and Marc Moore forever.
“On October 14 I was at work and came home as I just wasn’t feeling well,” explained Rebecca.
“Marc was spreading slurry at the time and came home and advised me to go to bed and get some rest.
“I got halfway up the stairs and my waters broke. It just didn’t sink in what was happening, Charlie was so active and would have been kicking from at least 20 weeks, there was no indication of anything untoward, everything was perfect.”
Rebecca was advised by her sister-in-law to go straight to SWAH.
“I went into the hospital and everything just escalated from there,” she said.
“They told me that I was in the early stages of labour and gave me an injection to stop contractions to prolong my labour but it was highly unlikely.”
After a bed became available at the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, Rebecca was blue-lighted immediately up the road alone but thankfully staff allowed Marc to join her when she arrived, “It was a worrying time for Mark too, he never left my side,” she said.
“When the neo-natal team came down, they told us all the worst possible scenarios, that Charlie could be stillborn, need a lot of ventilation, or come out blue.
“They never told us that he would come out crying and that’s exactly what he done. He came out with the biggest cry, needed no ventilation or CPR. Marc and I looked at each other and said, ‘we’ve got our Charlie’ – he was a little miracle.”
Charlie was put on a CPAP machine to keep his airways open for caution.
However, on day five he was moved from the Royal to Altnagelvin and “deteriorated massively” to the extent that he required CPR.
“We had the honeymoon period but it ended very quickly,” said Rebecca.
“We got a phonecall at 4.30am that Charlie was really not well and had to be ventilated.
“He came off the ventilator and went on the CPAP again but due to a rare condition on his lung, Charlie needed CPR on another two occasions and we lost him for seven minutes. It’s so scary when it’s your baby.”
Despite her concerns about Charlie, Rebecca was fighting health conditions of her own, after an operation to remover her gallbladder just weeks after delivering Charlie was put on hold at the last minute after she tested positive for Covid-19.
“Mark and I spent ten days away from Charlie isolating, it was one of the hardest parts out of the whole experience.
“But we got a really good surprise the day we got out of isolation; Charlie had made great progress. He was transferred to SWAH where he spent two weeks and got home on his due date. I had my gallbladder out on the Monday and he came home on the Wednesday.”
Speaking on the moment she got to bring her baby home, Rebecca said, “It was fantastic, I was still crying by the time we got Charlie home.
“We didn’t know if he was going to get home and you just look at him and think, you’re amazing,” concluded Rebecca.
The family are planning to climb Cuilcagh Mountain on July 18. Donations can be made via https://paypal.me/pools/c/8yKZtTqbGV.”
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