Mum gives thanks on World Prematurity Day: “I was so overwhelmed by their kindness”

Nikki Wasik, of Oban, has praised the Scottish Ambulance Service after the birth of her second child Torran on February 28 this year. After the birth, Torran had to spend four weeks in hospital, before returning home.

Describing it as a “frightening experience”, she got in touch to thank the team of Glasgow-based Yvonne Gibson, Hugh Lavelle and Tommy Berry, and ambulance crew, Daniel Lauder and George Turner, of Oban, who transported her to hospital. 

Now, several months after the birth, Nikki said Torran was doing well after his “dramatic entrance” to the world.

Today (November 17) is World Prematurity Day and Nikki said: “I am eternally grateful to the team of people that made that happen and will never forget the kindness shown to us that day. It was above and beyond all expectations.”

Recalling the incident, Nikki, 38, said she was at home with daughter Mara, 2. Her husband Shane, 39, who works as a skipper was working away, when she went into labour. 

Nikki called an ambulance and “was blue lighted from Oban to Paisley”, arriving with just 16 minutes to spare before Torran was born.

She explained: “Having a baby so early is a frightening experience especially since I lived 2.5 hours drive from the hospital and my labour was less than 5 hours long.”

Two days after arriving in Paisley at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH), Nikki and Torran were transported to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital by ambulance.

She said: “He had taken a turn for the worse and needed more specialist care than the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Royal Alexandria Hospital could provide. That was the most terrifying day of my life.”

Nikki described the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital as a “familiar place”, as her first daughter Mara was born 10 weeks early in 2017.

She added: “I felt exhausted and a bit dazed but ready to face the NICU at the Queen Elizabeth again. Unfortunately, he was very unwell and had lots of difficulties, especially with breathing.

“I was terrified - I hadn’t even held him yet. He didn’t have a name as I couldn’t see his face. I was still recovering from his birth and wouldn’t be able to go with him unless I could get discharged.”

On Wednesday, March 4, Torran was then transferred back to the Royal Alexandria Hospital.

She added: “I was so petrified of Torran being moved. Yvonne, Tommy and Hugh were absolutely outstanding. So professional and precise but incredibly compassionate, caring, understanding and kind. They took so much time to establish exactly how to move Torran, to cause him as little distress as possible. They explained every step in terms that I could fully understand.

“When Yvonne and Hugh were talking about more technical aspects, Tommy kept me calm with his great sense of humour. 

“Just before they moved Torran they asked if I’d been able to hold him yet. When I said that I hadn’t, they took extra time to allow me to hold him for a few minutes. That meant absolutely everything to me and gave me the strength to get though the next few harrowing days.”

Torran was discharged home after four weeks in hospital and is “now a happy, smiley 1 year old who is “in at everything”.

Nikki added: “They were absolutely wonderful. They were incredibly calm and so careful with Torran - the care and compassion shown to both of us stays with me still. I got in touch to offer my sincerest thanks for the excellent treatment shown to my son and I last year.

“I was so overwhelmed by their kindness and compassion and they demonstrated the utmost professionalism throughout.”

Posted on 17/11/2021