Luke's Story : Born December 26th, 2002, 29 weeks, 1280 gms
We were due with our first baby - a boy, on the 5th day of March 2003. At 28 weeks my waters broke and I was rushed off to Gosford Hospital then onto John Hunter, where they cater for preemies born up to 34 weeks.
There I was given steroids to develop our babies lungs, and another drug that assists in prolonging the onset of labor. After 5 days of keeping him in my tummy with minimal fluid, they stopped this drug and the following day I went into labour and our boys heartbeat was erratic.
I had an emergency caesar, and at 1.40am on boxing day 2002 our precious little "Dolphin Boy" came into our lives. This was the name the nurses at Gosford Hospital gave him because of the little noises he used to make, I didn't realise at the time the impact that cheeky little name would have on our memories to this day. Eleven weeks early, Luke Glen Leslie Dillon arrived, weighing 1280 grams. He was not breathing after being born, as Daddy said a quick hello he was rushed off to stay in the NICU for the next 5 weeks.
During this time he lived on the C-PAP machine, getting breast milk through a tube and numerous blood tests daily. He endured a lumbar puncture, and was given a number of drugs to keep him alive. We watched him getting stronger and stronger, then, after five or so weeks he returned to Gosford Hospital where he built up more strength before returning to John Hunter Hospital for a double groinal hernia operation. He recovered well and returned to Gosford where he stayed for another month. Finally after twelve weeks we were able to bring our boy home - what a moment!
He absolutely thrived, put on loads of weight and looked perfect.
While I was a "hospital mummy" they taught us all about SIDS, I never realised at the time the significance this would have on us only six months later.
On the 30th day of June 2003, after going for our regular walk with nanny Lorraine, I put my precious bundle of joy down for his afternoon nap. An hour went by and I thought it unusual that he was still asleep. I poked my head through the door and thought how warm and cosy he looked. Being a first time mum and extremely sleep deprived, I fell asleep on the lounge. After half an hour I thought I'd go in and to my absolute horror couldn't wake him up. I instantly went into to shock, I felt like I was in the midst of a nightmare. I rang nanny and she told me to call the ambulance. I just couldn't believe what I was seeing.
The person I spoke to told me to cut his clothes off and perform CPR. At this stage I was uncontrollably upset, our little boy had no life, and it was up to me to try to revive him. I was crying so much, I couldn't hear what they were saying but I just couldn't bring myself to push on his chest.
I tried to give him the breath he needed, I tried so hard. Nanny arrived and twelve minutes later so did the paramedics.They worked on him for what felt like forever. We sat on my bed crying and praying. He was taken to Gosford Hospital.
I called my husband, who was working six hours away and told him what happened. When he got to the hospital we cried a mountain of tears… we were told he was gone. Our Beautiful boy who fought so hard was gone. We held our baby before they took him away, another moment I'll never forget. It took me a long time to move past the helplessness, the guilt of not being able to look after our boy. After many tests we were told that Luke had died due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Today 14 years later, I wonder what our boy would have been like, our little fighter, our little Luke the "Dolphin Boy."