UK MUM Award Winners: Miracles happen in great teams – unsung heroes in UK maternity teams receive heartfelt thanks from parents and miracle babies
Thirteen maternity unit teams were the deserving recipients of team awards after the grateful parents of 18 ‘miracle babies’ ensured their life-saving achievements did not go unrecognised. Maternity teams from across the UK made the journey to be reunited with the parents of children they’d saved and take part in a special thank-you event at the national MUM Awards (Maternity Unit Miracles) held at the Rainforest Café in London on 6th November where they picked up their awards.
National Winners’ University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, who received multiple nominations from grateful parents in the region, won the national MUM award after being nominated by Claire Parry who underwent an emergency Caesarean delivery to save the lives of her two baby daughters born 13 weeks prematurely after she herself had been diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, a very serious liver and blood clotting disorder.
“It’s a very hard job that they do and must be very hard on them on the bad days when they can’t let their emotion show and yet they still remain strong and support the parents and care for the babies”, said Claire.
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust Chief Executive Officer, Andy Hardy said:
“The entire team are thrilled and delighted with this award. Each year staff deliver more than 6,000 babies and care for some of the sickest babies in the country in our intensive care baby unit. This is a fantastic accolade that I know the staff will treasure and we would like to thank everyone who nominated University Hospital and I would like to thank Claire particularly for her nomination”.
The MUM awards were launched in 2004 to celebrate excellence in maternity care and recognise the collective work of joined up teams working together in the NHS to ensure healthy and successful outcomes for both mother and child.
In many cases, not only were children saved but mothers too, and Diane Mantle from Warrington bears testament to this after falling pregnant with twins following a prior miscarriage. Following a very challenging pregnancy, shortly after suffering with a collapsed lung after movement from one of the twins she was carrying, Diane was found to have also suffered a heart attack.
After careful monitoring from the maternity team at Warrington Neonatal and Maternity Unit, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust, her babies were delivered at 34.5 weeks via Caesarean section. Diane said,
“Now my twins are 4, gorgeous and at pre-school and full of the joys of being a child. Warrington Hospital is an amazing place from the Nurses in Neonatal who looked after my twins and me so amazingly”.
Warrington Hospital Maternity team took home the MUM award for the North West region.
Kings College in London received a special commendation for the work they did to save baby Charlie Howells (now aged 2) who had Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) and required life-saving foetal surgery both inside and outside the womb. With a Kings College maternity team of 10 medical professionals on hand to assist in his natural delivery, Charlie’s story had a happy ending however 50% of children who undergo surgery for CDH aren’t always as lucky.
A further ten NHS trusts received regional awards covering the South, North East, West Midlands, London and the South East, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, East Midlands, East Anglia and the South West regions.
Celebrity guests supporting the families and maternity teams at the Rainforest Cafe included Jimmi Harkinshin and Kate Ford from Coronation Street as well as Emma Jesson the familiar and popular face of ITV Weather and news features.
Nominator: Claire Parry
Maternity team: University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust Maternity Unit
Key contact: Neonatal intensive care unit
At just under 27 weeks pregnant with twins, Claire Parry was sent to hospital with a suspected chest infection. There she was tested for pre-eclampsia and diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. This is a combined liver and blood clotting disorder that can affect pregnant women and occurs where red blood cells break down, proteins become high and the platelet count is low. As platelets are needed to help the blood clot, she was given a platelet transfusion. The recognised course of action with HELLP syndrome is to deliver the baby quickly so Claire underwent an emergency C-section to deliver both babies safely.Jessica weighed only 2lb 2oz at birth and her twin Lucie just 1lb 4oz. Both had a long hard struggle, were on oxygen, had numerous transfusions, laser eye treatment and suffered various setbacks. Finally, after 117 days in hospital, Jessica went home and, two weeks later, so did Lucie, still on oxygen.
Left to Right: Karen Sidgwick, Kristie Mann, Louisa Eadon, Cathryn Seagrave, Prakash Satodia, Yvonne Huskins, Liam Labbett and Lucie, Claire Parry and Jessica
Nominator: Lauren Gotlieb on behalf of Lucy Howells
Maternity team: King’s College Hospital, Maternity Unit
Key contact: Professor Nicolaides
Told that their unborn baby was suffering from Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, Lucy and Richard Howells made the brave decision to undergo ground-breaking foetal surgery at King’s College Hospital and also turned to Ronald MacDonald House in Camberwell for help and support.At 25 weeks keyhole surgery was performed under local anesthetic: a small balloon was inserted into their baby’s wind pipe to try and help his lung to grow. Seven weeks later the balloon was deflated and Lucy and Richard were given the news that the procedure had been successful. Lucy says “We were over the moon but we knew there was still a long road ahead before we could be sure of our baby’s survival.”Lucy spent the rest of her pregnancy in hospital and gave birth naturally to Charlie on 12th May 2010 who was immediately taken to Intensive Care. He was only two days old when he was operated on to repair the hole in his diaphragm and reposition the organs within his abdomen.
Charlie is now two years old. Speaking of their experience Lucy says,” Babies diagnosed with CDH only have a 50 percent chance of survival after undergoing foetal surgery and Charlie was one of the lucky ones and for that we thank the entire team at King’s College Hospital.”
Congratulations from Judy Ledger
It is with enormous pride that I welcome all our guests attending the celebration of Baby Lifeline and this year’s UK MUM (Maternity Unit Miracles) Awards, at London’s Rainforest Cafe and the House of Lords.
I would particularly like to thank Lord Philip Hunt OBE of Kings Heath and the Rainforest Cafe management for their part in hosting these two wonderful events, as well as our generous sponsors Danone, Nestor Partnership, Premex, ISS Mediclean Limited, and Mark Beaumont and Sally Dunscombe through the Brain Injury Group who have helped to make it all possible.
When founding Baby Lifeline over 30 years ago now, I had just experienced the tragedy of losing three babies consecutively – all born prematurely. After this, and thanks to the incredible care from teams of health professionals from the maternity units in Coventry, Birmingham and South Warwickshire, I now have three wonderful children – Richard, James and Sara.
I completely understand first-hand the exceptional skills and dedication shown, often in adverse and under-resourced conditions. From setting out to raise funds for just one incubator for Coventry’s Neonatal Unit after losing my third baby – Stuart, in 1981, to today’s Baby Lifeline, which has equipped and supported specialist training for most UK maternity units and their health professionals as well as providing training internationally.
Created by Baby Lifeline in 2005, the UK MUM Awards are designed to publicly recognise the amazing dedication and expertise that exists in our maternity sector. Thanks to media support led nationally this year by the Sun Newspaper and on line support from Shop Direct, many moving and extraordinary stories were received from families all over the UK, outlining the exceptional care given to pregnant mothers, their unborn and newborn babies.
Our judges found it a difficult task to select the award winning health care teams as all the nominating stories were so worthy, but the winners were finally chosen and their stories feature in this brochure. My congratulations go to all of the winning hospital teams and my thanks to the parents and children who kindly nominated them.
The UK MUM Awards demonstrate that, despite many difficulties encountered by Mums-to-be and their babies, through the determination, dedication and incredible care given by teams of maternity health professionals, they have survived the most dangerous journey of life – birth.
What is more precious than life itself and what better place to start caring than at the beginning?
Founder & Chief Executive of Baby Lifeline