"Miracle" premature baby survives hole in heart, heart attack, infections, bleeding in brain

Wandsworth Guardian: Shelley Court and Dean Harrison with their baby Lenny at home Shelley Court and Dean Harrison with their baby Lenny at home

A "miracle" baby born at just 24 weeks has finally left hospital to the joy of his parents, neonatal nurses and midwives.

In his first 100 days Lenny Harrison survived a heart attack, a hole in the heart, bleeding in his brain, three infections, and underwent nine blood transfusions.

But on March 6 his proud parents brought their little fighter home after 100 days of life-saving care in four hospitals across south west London.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Shelley Court, 34, from Tadworth Street, Tadworth, went to Epsom Hospital feeling a little unwell only to discover that she was fully dilated on November 26 and her baby was going to be born four months early.

Miss Court said: "I can't describe the feelings that we're running through myself and my partner at the time, it was a mixture of fear, devastation and total panic."

After 16 hours, their "beautiful miracle" was delivered at 11.06am weighing just 1lb 13oz compared to the average baby who weighs in at 7lb 8oz.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Miss Court said: "We were told from the start that he may not make it but he came out fighting straight away. I was taken back to theatre due to a haemorrhage and I remember laying there thinking that my world had collapsed.

Lenny was transferred to St George's once he was stabilised and later that night I made the journey there with my partner Dean to meet my son for the first time."

She said: "When I first saw Lenny I broke down as he was so tiny and was covered in tubes and wires. I felt so helpless and dazed and just didn't know what to do."

Over the next nine weeks Miss Court and Dean Harrison, 35, took it in turns to be with him day and night as he fought for his life.

When he out of danger he was transferred to St Helier Hospital, went to King's College Hospital for an eye operation, and finally came back to Epsom for the last week.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Miss Court said: "The midwives at Epsom and the neonatal staff at all of the hospitals are worth their weight in gold and I will be eternally grateful to them for the rest of my life."

Lenny’s due date was on Tuesday, March 18. She said: "He is putting on weight and now weighs 6lb 11 which is great considering he's not supposed to be here yet!"

Wandsworth Guardian:

The day he was born was the anniversary of the death of her uncle, Andrew Court, 21, who was electrocuted on a building site 28 years ago.

She said: "My nan says it’s his way of saying don’t be sad on this day, be happy."

Policeman Mr Harrison first met Miss Court, who works at a mini Habitat in Homebase, Ewell, during their school days together at the Beacon School, Banstead.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Santa delivered a diamond wedding ring to Mr Harrison when he proposed to her outside the Woolpack pub in Banstead High Street in 2012.

Head of Midwifery at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Trust, Sally Sivas said: "We are delighted that Shelley and Lenny have been discharged and can begin their life together as a family at home.

"Shelley wanted to thank all the staff that cared for her but wanted to say an extra special thanks to the following staff; Moira Rix, Jo Bakr, Dr Garcia and Anna Maria Day.

Wandsworth Guardian:

"It is lovely to hear that our high level of care so impressed Shelley and we are rightly very proud of our hard working staff who always put patients first."

* Mr Harrison will be running the Great North Run in September to raise money for charity First Touch which supports babies at St George's Hospital to thank staff in its neo natal unit for the care which Harrison received.

Sponsor him at www.justgiving.com/D-HARRISON

Comments (1)

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1:23pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Michael Pantlin says...

A wonderful combined effort by four hospitals to produce such a happy outcome. We need St. Helier and Epsom Hospitals.
A wonderful combined effort by four hospitals to produce such a happy outcome. We need St. Helier and Epsom Hospitals. Michael Pantlin
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