Lucy Beth McDonnell was born at RHW at 25 weeks by emergency C-section after a complicated and stressful pregnancy. Like many unsuspecting mums and dads who find themselves in the Newborn Care Centre (NCC), we had little clue of the rollercoaster ride we were in for.
Like many of the premmies and families in the NCC, we struggled with chronic lung disease amongst other issues like infections, PDA surgery, and those dreaded serious conversations with Neonatologists in the private/quiet room. Some time around 110 days in level 3/intensive care, Lucy must of caught site of the exit doors as she quickly progressed through level 2 and after 137 days in the NCC we nervously brought Lucy home on oxygen.
Lucy thrived at home and we were so thankful to have her there, however a follow up brain ultrasound revealed worsening hydrocephalus (water/swelling in the brain) and Lucy required a VP Shunt insertion at Sydney Childrens Hospital (SCH) a few months after coming home. As grateful as we were for the shunt that saved Lucy's life, it hasn't been smooth sailing and for a while we were regulars at C1 North in SCH with Lucy undergoing numerous neurosurgical procedures over the years.
Lucy came of home oxygen just before turning one, and although we've had our fair share of health and medical issues over the years, Lucy is almost 5 years old now and is absolutely the love of our lives (along with her little brother William of course!). Lucy goes to preschool 3 days a week and loves singing, dancing and reading books!
We are forever grateful to the amazing staff at the Royal Hospital for Women NCC, Dr Kwok and the neurosurgery team at SCH and to the many incredible Doctors, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals who have helped Lucy get to where she is today. Not a day goes by that we don't appreciate our little shining star, who, like many others started her journey in the RHW NCC.