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Bye Bye Baby Goodbye
September 14, 2006 permalink
Here is yet another use for the threat of child removal. A hospital is threatening parents to get them to remove their medically fragile baby from the only equipment that can save his life — a saturation monitor.
Take your baby home or face foster care
A MUM who has refused to take her newborn baby home over fears for his life has been told she faces having him fostered.
Tina Goodenough, who gave birth to twin boys in April, is still coming to terms with the death of one of the babies, Sonni, born 16 weeks premature.
Now Tina, who has five other children, has been warned by hospital staff that little Dijon, who has also been desperately-ill, could be taken into care.
Dijon, now 20 weeks old, is currently in St Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth. But Tina and husband Kevin say they are afraid to take their son home without specialist medical equipment as Dijon has stopped breathing several times.
Tina and Kevin have been left shattered by the news. They say that they do not know what to do - risk the life of their son and take him home or see him taken into care.
A spokesman for the hospital, which denies Dijon needs specialist equipment, has confirmed that Tina was informed foster care was an alternative.
Tina, 35, said: "It's devastating for us because we cannot even grieve for our other baby until we know that Dijon is going to be okay."
Up until three weeks ago, Dijon suffered from apnia attacks, which meant that he suddenly stopped breathing.
Tina and Kevin, 51, want to take Dijon to their home in Bellfield, Titchfield, but they insist on having a saturation monitor, which would alert the couple if Dijon stopped breathing.
Tina said: "Since he was born we have had to watch Dijon be resuscitated again and again. It's been terrible.
"If we had a saturation monitor we could be sure that if another attack happened we could be there in time to get him breathing again. Without one, we could wake up one morning and find that he had suffered an attack during the night and died. We feel like we have been pushed into a corner."
Hospital staff have told the parents that because Dijon has not had an attack for three weeks he is well enough to go home, but Tina believes that three weeks is not long enough.
She said: "With all that we have been through, with the loss of our first son, Sonni, we just don't think it's right to risk Dijon's life by bringing him home without a monitor. Of course we would love to bring him home but not if it puts his life at risk.
"We cannot stay awake for 24 hours a day just watching to see if he stops breathing. That's crazy and we have five other children to look after. All we are asking is either for a monitor to take home or to keep him in for longer. Any parent can understand what I am saying."
Portsmouth Hospitals Trust has said that it is doing its best to deal with the family's wishes even though it would not normally supply this type of equipment to patients.
A spokesperson said: "There was a general conversation between the family and a newly-appointed senior staff nurse. During that conversation the mother asked the specific question what would be the alternatives to not taking him home?
"There was then a general conversation where one of the alternatives mentioned was foster care. Once a baby is fit enough to be discharged the best place for the baby is back in the community, not an acute hospital setting."
3:00pm Wednesday 13th September 2006
Source: This is Hampshire website