Harpenden couple donate vital equipment for maternity ward

Shaun and Laura Drury of Harpenden presenting the life-saving baby equipment to Luton and Dunstable hospital.

Shaun and Laura Drury of Harpenden presenting the life-saving baby equipment to Luton and Dunstable hospital. - Credit: Shaun Drury

Olly Drury had a difficult birth at Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

Olly Drury had a difficult birth at Luton and Dunstable Hospital. - Credit: Shaun Drury

When Harpenden couple Shaun and Laura Drury headed into the maternity ward to prepare for the arrival of their baby Olly,  they were unaware that he would need critical neonatal intensive care after he was born unresponsive and requiring resuscitation for 15 minutes. 

Two weeks after the procedure at Luton and Dunstable Hospital Olly had made remarkable progress and was able to go home. However, a conversation with a surgeon led to the realisation that three specialist machines would have made the procedure used with Olly much easier.

He said: "We relied on a doctor intermittently stopping resuscitation in order to listen with a stethoscope for a heart beat and if present count the heart rate. This process is slow and every now and again pauses the resuscitation process which pauses the oxygen delivery that is needed for vital organs.

"There is a machine that can intervene but the ward did not have the funds for it."

They set about trying to raise the funds through JustGiving for three machines needed at a total cost of £24,000. Two of them were to go into theatre and the last one would go in the resuscitation bag for emergencies. 

This week, the day before Olly's first birthday, the couple presented the three machines to Luton and Dunstable thanks to the generosity of donors.

Olly Drury, now recovered and celebrated his 1st birthday recently. 

Olly Drury, now recovered and celebrated his 1st birthday recently. - Credit: Shaun Drury

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Shaun said: "It was a very poignant day.  For us the most important part of presenting the machines is the satisfaction that a baby born in the same poor condition as Olly will benefit.

"The machine will give instant stats which indicate a clearer picture to the staff on what course of intervention they need to take. Without the machines the process is a pausing of the resuscitation process whilst a doctor uses a stethoscope to count the pulse, this causes a lack of oxygen to the brain which resulted in Olly having seizures and needing to be placed into a coma."

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