Mother praises hospital as she looks forward to first Christmas at home with premature son

Chloe Parkes with son Lucas Credit: Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

A mother from Alfreton has praised the neonatal unit at the King's Mill Hospital as she prepares to have a proper Christmas at home with her baby son for the first time - after his first was spent in intensive care.

Chloe Parkes gave birth to Lucas 12 weeks early last October, and he weighted just over 1kg.

Now he's doing well at home, and will have a proper festive period with the family.

Last year he left the intensive care unit on Christmas Eve, so his mum had very little time to prepare for his first Christmas.

He had been born by emergency caesarean section on 27 October 2017.

I noticed that the baby wasn’t moving around as much as he had been and after spending all night awake worrying, I plucked up the courage to call my midwife, who advised that I should go into hospital to get checked out.

Chloe Parkes

Amniotic Band Syndrome is a rare condition where strands of the amniotic sac separate and entangle digits, limbs or other parts of the foetus.

When Lucas was born he had bands around some of his fingers, his toes and round his leg. Surgeons were able to save his toes and leg by removing the bands and leaving behind just scarring, but two of his fingers couldn’t be saved.

Tiny Lucas was born 12 weeks premature Credit: Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

He was also born with chronic lung disease, an eye disorder known as Retinopathy of Prematurity, and Hypospadias.

He was really tiny when he was born and it was a scary time with him having such a rare condition. I had never even heard of it.

Chloe Parkes

Lucas has now been home now for almost a year, and Chloe says he's thriving, as well as starting to walk.

So many babies on the Neonatal unit do spend their very first Christmas with us and we try to make it special for the babies and their families.

Rachel Barker, Matron for neonates, children and young people at King’s Mill Hospital