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Emily marks a milestone

PUBLISHED: 18:17 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:08 03 July 2010

PROUD parents of a premature baby took her back to thank doctors and nurses to celebrate her first birthday.

Emily Gromitt was born 28 weeks into pregnancy weighing 1lb 13oz.

PROUD parents of a premature baby took her back to thank doctors and nurses to celebrate her first birthday.

Emily Gromitt was born 28 weeks into pregnancy weighing 1lb 13oz.

And parents Sam, 36, and Andy, 33, of Turin Way, Hopton, celebrated Emily's landmark birthday by taking her back to the James Paget University Hospital.

During their tour of the neonatal unit they were joined by local MP Tony Wright who, as a supporter of the premature baby charity Bliss, wanted to highlight the financial hardship often faced by parents having to travel daily to the hospital to see their baby.

Mrs Gromitt, a dietician at the JPH, was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia 26 weeks into her pregnancy during a routine check-up. Doctors reassured her it would be all right to go on holiday but the characteristic symptom of high blood pressure worsened so quickly that she was hospitalised in Devon.

She said: “They managed to stabilise my blood pressure so I could come home to Norfolk but I was taken straight into the JPH over the weekend and had an emergency caesarian on the Monday.”

Tiny Emily had to battle a long list of problems from respiratory distress syndrome, caused by under-developed lungs, to anaemia and chest, bladder and stomach infections. She also needed three blood transfusions, but her parents never doubted she would pull through thanks to the dedicated care of the staff.

Mrs Gromitt said: “We were on the unit for 12 weeks and the staff were just fantastic. We wanted to show them how brilliantly Emily is doing now. I owe them everything.”

The Gromitts did not face problems travelling to see Emily as they live close by, but Mr Wright said the financial burden could be considerable for some parents, especially if their child was born at less than 28 weeks gestation and transferred to a unit specialising in such care - in the case of the Yarmouth area that would mean to travelling to the Norfolk and Norwich.

He pledged to raise the issue of financial assistance with the minister.

Manager of the unit Laurie Howarth said although babies born at less than 28 weeks gestation were transferred to more specialist units, such as the N and N, they were initially stabilised at the JPH if they were born there.


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