'No one thought he'd survive' — Miracle lockdown baby Tommy defied the odds
- Credit: Danielle Booden
After a month in intensive care, multiple organ failure and three resuscitations, there were fears baby Thomas - named after hero Captain Tom - might not survive.
Now the little fighter is home in Felixstowe with parents Rita and Jonathon Trotter, and is thriving.
Mum Rita went into labour on the morning of April 27 and immediately knew something wasn't right when she started bleeding.
The 30-year-old from Felixstowe, who has two older children, was taken to Ipswich Hospital by husband Jonathon, where several hours later she was rushed in for an emergency caesarean delivery because the baby's heartbeat kept disappearing during her contractions.
Rita said: "I was in agonising pain during labour, beyond anything I have ever felt before and I could hear myself screaming a raw visceral sound."
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Baby Thomas Timothy Trotter was not breathing when he was born and suffered neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
"Tommy got taken away from me after birth and I couldn't see him for more than five hours — I couldn't touch him, let alone hold him, for weeks because he was wired up to so many machines. It was awful," said Rita.
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He was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with serious complications. Over the next month he suffered multiple seizures, kidney failure, liver failure and lung failure.
"The nurses were amazing and showed such compassion, but when he got put back on a ventilator because his body stopped breathing for him they were preparing me for the chance he wouldn't be coming home — you could tell no one thought he'd survive."
The team considered sending him to Great Ormond Street Hospital for specialist care but the Covid crisis made it too dangerous, so he stayed in Suffolk with remote help from several other hospitals.
Rita was holding Tommy in her arms in the NICU when he turned blue for the third time and Jonathon rushed to the hospital for what they thought would be the end.
Then, miraculously, after three weeks he began to improve rapidly and doctors were astounded by his sudden progress.
Now home, Thomas has made incredible progress and is a healthy, happy baby brother to his older siblings.
"He took to breast feeding like a duck to water," Rita added. "At five months he looked like a 10-month-old and he spends all his days laughing.
"My older sons Charlie and George love him and when we drive past the hospital they say 'that's where they saved Tommy's life'."
Now nearly eight months old, Thomas — born three days before his namesake's birthday — will be assessed twice a year until he is 16 and has apparently already blown away his consultant with astonishing progress.