History repeats itself for Ipswich Hospital practitioner who cared for twins - and their father

The special care baby unit is caring for Dan Southey and Sophia Iwasiak's newborn twins, Emilia Evel

The special care baby unit is caring for Dan Southey and Sophia Iwasiak's newborn twins, Emilia Evelyn Southey and Evie Rose Southey. Looking after them is Donna Hanley-Worsfold, who also looked after Dan there when he was born 24 years ago.

It was a case of déjà vu for an Ipswich Hospital practitioner who recently found herself caring for newborn twin girls - 24 years after she looked after their father.

Donna Hanley-Worsfield holding Dan Southey as a baby and right, with her as a 24-year-old dad of new

Donna Hanley-Worsfield holding Dan Southey as a baby and right, with her as a 24-year-old dad of newborn twin girls who have also been helped by Donna - Credit: Archant

Dan Southey, from Leiston, weighed just 1lb 10oz when he was born prematurely in 1992, and he spent around six weeks on the special care baby unit (SCBU) while he gained enough strength to return home.

Among the staff who cared for him at the time was assistant practitioner Donna Hanley-Worsfield.

As history repeats itself, she is now helping Mr Southey’s newborns Evie and Emelia who were born five-and-a-half weeks premature on March 15 and weighed 4lb 8oz and 4lb 9oz respectively.

They are making good progress and with Donna’s help, they should be able to return home within the next few days.


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Mr Southey, 24, who lives with his girlfriend Sophia Iwasiak, 22, said: “People kept saying that one of the little girls looked exactly like me when I was born so I asked my mum to send me some pictures.

“I was showing them to the staff and one of the nurses spotted Donna and told us she was still working on the unit.

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“It was really nice to see someone who had looked after me all those years ago and is now doing the same for my little girls.

“My mum has also been in to say hello and they recognised each other straight away.

“I think they were both really pleased to be able to catch up.”

Mr Southey added: “We’re really grateful to everyone on the unit for the care they have given the girls and are now really looking forward to getting them home.”

Donna, who has worked at Ipswich Hospital for 32 years, said she could remember Daniel and his family well.

“His mum and dad were so lovely – I’ve always enjoyed fishing and remember chatting to his dad about how he was going to get Daniel a fishing rod when he was old enough,” she said.

“Dan showed me the picture of us together which was taken on the day he went home and it brought back some memories.

“His mum has popped in as well which was really nice.”

She added: “Things like this make me feel how lucky I am to have such a fantastic job.”

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