Jack's story | Action Medical Research

Jack's story

Premature birth and NEC

“Jack is inquisitive – very inquisitive!” says his proud mum Jenny. “He asks lots of questions and he’s a very smiley little boy.”

Born extremely prematurely, Jack has made remarkable progress. He is now a happy pre-schooler but, due to his early birth, faces potential health and developmental issues as he grows up.

Jenny had no reason to worry during her pregnancy, so Jack’s arrival more than three months early came as a terrible shock: “I had a very good, easy pregnancy, with no issues at all,” she says. “But at 25 weeks I haemorrhaged and was rushed into hospital.”

Jack was delivered by emergency caesarean section at 25 weeks and two days, weighing just 1lb 15oz. He needed oxygen, help with his breathing and feeding tubes to survive. He suffered a collapsed lung and brain bleeds and contracted the potentially deadly bowel infection necrotising enterocolitis (NEC).

After life-saving surgery in the middle of the night, Jack went on to endure many serious health problems and spent four and a half months in hospital before he was finally allowed home.

Now almost four years old, Jack has experienced some developmental delay. He has chronic lung disease due to the oxygen he needed in his early months and there are concerns about his eyes. He may be affected by epilepsy due to the brain bleeds he suffered as a newborn baby.

But Jenny says: “We are so lucky to have him. There’s no stopping him!”

Jenny believes passionately in the value of research into premature birth and conditions like NEC which can devastate tiny lives. “Without research, we wouldn’t have medical advances, and Jack probably wouldn’t be here,” she says.

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