After several miscarriages, Malia and James Brackpool were overjoyed to find out Malia was eight weeks pregnant. But that joy turned to fear at her 12-week ultrasound, when they learned the baby was implanted in scar tissue from a previous C-section. The rare condition came with a high risk of Malia bleeding to death and losing the baby.
After extensive consultation, Malia and her obstetricians agreed to continue her pregnancy. With two other children at home, the stakes were high but she was grateful for one last chance to have another
“The doctors said, ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to take this one step at a time,’” Malia remembers. “They wanted to do everything they could to help me save this baby.”
Malia was 28 weeks along when her water broke in August 2018. She and her husband rushed from their home in Weyburn to Regina General Hospital, where medical teams worked hard to prevent the baby from arriving prematurely. But when Malia started bleeding, it was time for an emergency C-section.
There was a chance Malia would need a hysterectomy, so she was put under anesthesia. When she woke up, she was told everything went well. She didn’t need her uterus removed and her son, Ben, was doing well in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), despite needing to be resuscitated. Then, Ben took a turn for the worse.
One of Ben’s lungs collapsed and doctors inserted a chest tube to inflate it. He started to recover and the tube was removed. But then, Ben got pneumonia and needed to be intubated again.
That was so scary for all of us,” says Malia. “We weren’t sure if he’d make it at that point.
But Ben fought hard for his life. His mom remembers him showing staff he no longer needed the oxygen tube by ripping it out himself. The happiest moment for the family came when Ben was able to go home, following a total of 72 days in NICU.
“After being away from my family and the whole ordeal we went through, it was such a great feeling to be able to put his little outfit on, pack him up and take him home,” recalls Malia.
Today, Malia says Ben has a weak immune system and chronic lung disease, but otherwise, he’s a healthy baby boy. She adds he should develop all new lung tissue by the time he’s two, so his health should improve as he grows up.
Without the programs in place in Regina’s hospitals, we might not be alive today,” Malia professes. “I will be forever grateful.
Ben is just one of 500 vulnerable babies whose lives depend on Regina’s NICU every year. Through the tremendous support of the community and Z99 Radiothon, Hospitals of Regina Foundation ensures the best technology and equipment is available to help children now and well into the future.
“Fragile babies who need Regina’s NICU deserve the best care possible, right here at home,” says Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “Thanks to the generosity of southern Saskatchewan and the support of Rawlco Radio, we can provide our medical teams with the best technology available to save the lives of countless babies.”
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