Health battle continues for tiny fighter Theo

Tiny fighter Theo Dawes is continuing to battle with his health after being born ten weeks prematurely weighing just 2lb.

Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:13 pm
Theo Dawes. Picture by FRANK REID

Last month, the Echo reported how the youngster spent the first weeks of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital as his lungs struggled to function properly.

Now at ten weeks old, the brave boy has returned home with parents Martin Dawes and Vicky Curry, but must remain on oxygen 24 hours a day until his lungs fully develop.

Theo in hospital when he was born.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Just before Christmas, his parents went through a second scare when he stopped breathing for 15 seconds.

“Theo was taken back in to hospital on December 17 as he had stopped breathing for 15 seconds,” mum Vicky, 38, said.

“During the night he made a noise like he was struggling and went limp.

“We knew that he might be prone to sleep apnoea- which is where some people stop breathing in the sleep - but he had stopped for far too long.

“I tapped his back and massaged it which managed to get him to come back round, but I took him to Sunderland Royal to be checked over.

“Doctors said it was caused by apnoea as a result of potential bronchitis.

“He is back home now and doing OK, but it is just a case of keeping an eye on him.

“We know he is going to be on oxygen for the foreseeable future.

“He could be on it for up to two years until his lungs develop enough to work on their own.”

Born on October 13, the last seven weeks have been a whirlwind for the family, who have anxiously watched over their son as he was looked after by staff at Sunderland Royal’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

While at the unit, the brave youngster was kept in a special incubator and received respiratory care as a result of his lungs being premature and weak.

He received a blood transfusion because of his low level of red blood cells which helped him significantly, but he still requires oxygen and is fed through a small tube.

Theo in hospital when he was born.

In a bid to show their gratitude the couple have launched a bid to raise over £20,000 to buy a new incubator and equipment for the ward which cared for their son.

They also want people to be aware of the great work the staff did and continue to do for their little boy.

“I just want people to recognise the work that the staff at Sunderland Royal do,” Vicky said. “We just can’t thank them enough.”

As well as the new incubator, the couple hope to raise enough funds to buy equipment such as a heart rate and respiratory monitor and a transfusion machine which administers milk feed and antibiotics to sick babies.

A Just Giving Page has been set up for donations and the family are also planning on holding an event in February at The Alexandra Hotel, in Sunderland, and one in March at the Top Club, in Washington ,to raise further funds.