Monica's Story

Monica & Family

I, like many women, thought that having babies would be easy, but for me it hasn't been. In the last four years we have been through the most emotional, life changing rollercoaster of experiences that we could ever have imagined. In this time, I have had six pregnancies. Three of those pregnancies tragically ended in miscarriage. All at different stages and all totally unrelated. One of those pregnancies ended devastatingly in our first daughter Ella, being stillborn at 35 weeks. Ella was perfectly healthy, yet somehow she managed to get her cord wrapped around her neck four times.

Now, thanks to all our little angels we have been blessed with Samuel (2 & a half) and Jessie (15 mths)! However, both of their arrivals in to the world, were touch and go and equally traumatic! Samuel was delivered by emergency caesarean at the Dgh, 5 weeks early, after I suffered a placental abruption. He spent a week in the Dgh's superb SCBU.

Things started to look bad for Jessie even earlier. At just 31 weeks I had very little amniotic fluid and she had gained very little weight. She was expected to need the care of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit so our consultant organised for my transfer. Due to the growing need and demand for special care facilities in the South East, everywhere was FULL, not understaffed, FULL! Hence, the reason Jessie was born in Ilford, Essex! We were soon made to realise that the Dgh was a 5 Star Establishment in comparison. I discharged myself after 3 days. Jessie was small and poorly, but she soon became stable and after ten days she was transferred back to Eastbourne's SCBU where she stayed until she was four weeks old.

Coming back to the Dgh was like coming home. If it confirmed anything to us, it was simply that emotional well-being plays a huge part in the recovery from any illness or trauma. Being in a place you know, with people you know and more importantly, people you trust is top priority in our opinion! EASTBOURNE MATERNITY IS AND HAS THE BEST OF THE BEST!

For us, being a High Risk Pregnancy Patient, meant constant monitoring and weekly visits to the Dgh for treatment and tests throughout each entire pregnancy. We did at one point consider pitching a tent up out in the car park. My husband had to completely rearrange his working week around appointments, but it was all worth it simply to ease the anxiety that comes with complicated pregnancies. Everyone from housekeepers and receptionists through to midwives and our consultant helped us get through this period in our lives. They kept us sane.

Having all our treatment at the Dgh meant we could take samuel with us without causing him too much disruption, it meant my husband could simply rearrange his work rather than cancel jobs and loose income and as with any situation, it meant that family and friends were around us if we needed them.

After we lost Ella, we felt the need to do something positive in her memory. We set up the Ella's Memorial Walk Trust and after two local sponsored events we raised just under £7,000 specifically intended for specialist equipment on the Maternity ward. Several items were trialled but were not suitable and we were consulted on all the options. Early last year, an alternative was suggested to us which we were very happy with. Plans were discussed in depth as to a Bereavement Suite on the ward, where parents who like us, had lost a baby could be treated with privacy, dignity and respect.

Now, however, this is all on hold! We have now requested on three occasions to reclaim the money and hold it in safekeeping until the future of the Maternity Department is secured, but have had little response. Over 75 people participated in our events for one reason alone. This money was intended for the specialist services on Maternity at EASTBOURNE and WE ARE NOT PREPARED FOR IT TO BE USED IN ANY OTHER WAY OR AT ANY OTHER HOSPITAL! We are now in the process of consulting a solicitor.

That is our experience of our local hospital so far, one which we intend to fight for! The People of Eastbourne deserve a hospital with services to be proud of. We will endeavour to keep everyone informed through this website and the media. If anyone wishes to contact me regarding our own experiences, the campaign or with a story of why you need us to keep our local hospital then please do so on the address below:

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Our Definition: Core services include 24 hour A & E full service, 24 hour in-patient Paediatric beds, 24 hour Consultant - led Obstetric service, 24 hour acute Medical admissions, 24 hour acute Surgical, I.T.U. & H.D.U. beds and any pathology and radiological services essential for the core services to be able to function

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