A grateful Goldthorpe mum exclusively told this week how doctors and nurses saved the life of her baby boy.
As relieved Amanda Kilner cuddled seven-and-a-half month Arley-James Angell at her King Street home, she spoke of the family’s “roller coaster” ordeal after he was born six and a half weeks prematurely with a hole in his heart.
Tiny Arley weighed in at just 4lb 2oz at birth.
Amanda said: “When he was born I didn’t get to see him straight away. He had to go on a continuous positive airway pressure machine because he was struggling to breathe on his own.
“At one point his lungs collapsed and I thought I had lost him. He had numerous canulas, his veins were very difficult to find. At one stage he needed a lumber puncture. They had to monitor him every hour - they were fantastic.”
Doctors discovered Arley had a hole in the heart and his heart chambers needed reconstruction. At the age of 10 weeks he was taken to Leeds General Infirmary for open heart surgery.
Amanda added: “Five hours after the operation, we went to see him and it was horrible. He looked like he had been in a car crash.
“There were tubes through his face.
“On the second night we went to see him his heart rate was racing at 180-200 and he was a blue colour.
“I thought we had lost him. He couldn’t get secretions off his chest it was horrible.”
But a week later Arley’s condition had improved and he was taken off the ventilator.
Amanda said: “It was amazing to see his little face. We are so grateful for what the hospital did for us.
He was transferred to the children’s ward at Doncaster for a further two months.
“I got to know everybody there it felt like we were all a family unit, said Amanda.
“When we go back Arley’s picture is on the reception desk - he’s like a celebrity.”
“Without the Neonatal Unit my son wouldn’t be here. They changed my life.”
Arley is recovering well but may need to have another heart operation in future.
To thank the medics, Amanda is having a sponsored head shave at Goldthorpe Reform Club on Sunday January 26 from noon onwards to raise funds for the neonatal unit.