A cuddling embrace by a pair of devastated parents revived a premature baby, born minutes apart from his sister and 14 weeks early. The children – now five years old – are both happy and healthy, and this Queensland, Australia couple is opening up about their miraculous story of recovery in order to draw attention to their charitable organization set up to help families of premature babies.
Writes UK’s Telegraph News: “Kate and David Ogg were devastated when maternity ward staff informed them that one of their two twins had stopped breathing after being born 14 weeks premature. Told that he had just a few moments left with a beating heart, they gathered his warm body in their arms for a tender embrace. Mrs. Ogg ordered her husband to clamber into the bed and take off his shirt so that the infant could have extra warmth.”
On March 25, 2010, Kate and David Ogg became parents to twin preemie babies. The infants were born only two minutes apart, and while baby Emily was crying and being cared for, her brother, tiny baby Jamie, had almost stopped breathing. Doctors and nurses worked frantically to stimulate Jamie’s lungs, but after nearly 30 minutes, they said he had died during birth. Overcome, Kate asked to hold her baby boy just once; David joined her and what happened next shows the power of human touch – he gasped for air.
Jamie was born first; Emily followed two minutes after. “They were both born in their sac but Jamie didn’t make a noise when they tore it open. Emily let out a big wail,” Kate said. “We looked over and everyone was crowding around Jamie – there was about 20 people in the room. The vibe wasn’t very good.” Jamie had stopped breathing, and his heartbeat was fading away.
The Daily Mail, which carried the touching pictures of Kate and David cuddling with Jamie, said that experts recognize that “skin-to-skin contact is a simple step mothers can take to welcome their baby into the world…The birth process is a stressful and exhausting time for the baby. Unicef advises mothers to hold their child in skin-to-skin contact to help their baby adapt to their new environment…their heartbeat and breathing will be better controlled and there is a wealth of evidence that suggests babies held in skin-to-skin contact are less stressed by the birth process.”
Said Kate: “He stopped breathing and his heartbeat was nearly gone. After 20 minutes they stopped working on him. The doctor said it was no use. I took Jamie off the doctor, asked everyone to leave. He was cold and I just wanted him to be warm.”
After the staff left, the family spent a precious moment in an earnest embrace. “We had tried for years to have kids and I felt so guilty. I just wanted to cuddle him. I unwrapped him and ordered my husband to take his shirt off and climb into the bed. I know it sounds stupid, but if he was still gasping there was still a sign of life so I wasn’t going to give up easily.”
While they were cuddling Jamie, they whispered to him that he had to live – he had a name already and a sister and parents who loved him.
“We were trying to entice him to stay,” says Kate. “We explained his name and that he had a twin that he had to look out for and how hard we tried to have him. He suddenly gasped… then he opened his eyes. He was breathing and grabbing Dave’s finger. If we had let the doctor walk out of the room with him, Jamie would have been dead.”
Now five, and joined by their little brother Charlie, twins Emily and Jamie were only recently told of the amazing story of their birth. “Emily burst into tears, she was really upset and she kept hugging Jamie,” Kate said.
The Oggs have now set up a charity called Jamie’s Gift in honor of their inspirational son. Their website says that “approximately 25,000 babies are born prematurely in Australia each year,” and they have set out an initial funding goal of $30,000. As of the writing of this article, they only had $2,000 in donations. The site reads:
In 2010, our twins added to that number, with our son Jamie being declared dead after 20 minutes of resuscitation. Luckily for us, our story had a happy ending and Jamie revived after some skin on skin contact with us, his parents.
Jamie and his twin, Emily, went on to spend the next 80 days in first the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and then the Special Care Nursery (SCN). During this time, they had immediate access to the most varied (and expensive) range of equipment you can imagine, all of which contributed to their essential growth and development. Sadly, this equipment doesn’t come free, or cheap, for our public hospitals, and fundraising is essential if they are to continue to be able to accommodate the needs of these, our most fragile little Aussies.
If you would like to make a donation for the care of premature babies, head over to the website above or Jamie’s Gift Facebook page.
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