New beginnings

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

At 4.12 pm Jessica Simmonds was born at Mater Mothers’ Hospital, she was 15 weeks premature and weighed 382 grams.

Her untimely arrival was a matter of necessity as Jessica’s mother, Karleen, was in danger of losing her own life suffering from the rare HELLP Syndrome, a severe complication of pre-eclampsia.

At birth Jessica was put on a ventilator and rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where for the next 10 weeks she overcame five blood transfusions, two bowel infections, two platelet transfusions, pneumonia and several other infections.

Throughout this time her anxious parents remained at her crib and celebrated each of her successes; the day she could breathe on her own; the day they could touch her for the first time; the day she had her first bath and the day she reached 100 days old. Every day brought hope.

After 117 days in hospital Jessica, the smallest girl to have survived at Mater, went home. A day her parents will never forget.

Thought for the day

When Jessica was born what struck me was her skin. It was transparent, paper-thin, you could see her veins. I just kept thinking this is our little girl. We just never gave up hope, there is always hope. She is getting better every day

Daniel Simmonds, Jessica’s father

Filed under: Mothers', Video
    Jessica, 2 days old, fighting for her lifeJessica weighed a tiny 382 grams at birthJessica receiving neonatal intensive careJessica's first bathJessica with mother Karleen at the opening of the Mater Mothers' Hospital on 30 May

To ensure we continue our commitment to meet the health care needs of the community, Mater has developed business strategies which address the issues of financial, social and environmental sustainability.

This website has been developed in accord with these strategies, and is the accompaniment to a summary document printed on recycled paper.