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Poems from the Crib

So many people to thank, it’s hard to know where to start.
Let’s begin by organising a Charity Event, straight from the heart.

In case you don’t know, my name is Otis.
I was born 14 weeks early, without any notice.

Born weighing a tiny 1 pound five.
It was a miracle I even survived.

My prognosis wasn’t great.
In the hands of the NHS lay my fate.

There were bleeds on my brain, and infections on my chest.
Problems with my eyes, my heart, my lungs – I needed to rest.

I have spent over 4 months being cared for by the University Hospital of Wales.
Who have done everything possible, to ensure I prevail.

Ronald McDonald House looked after my mum and dad.
They housed them and hugged them, when they were sad.

Over my life, I’ve made lots of friends who wear blue.
But I mustn’t forget the Doctors, Physiotherapists and Health-Care Support Workers too.

Please join my fokes to raise awareness and funds for two great causes.
To celebrate the services and staff that we are in awe of.

Come dressed as a flapper, or come as you are.
Dress as a gangster or a silent-screen star.

It’s going to be fun, no matter the dress.
Just bring yourself and some money, and we’ll sort the rest.

I felt it

The mother whose deaf toddler walked around the assessment unit, after being told she’d never walk.
I felt your pride.

The mother whose baby had heart surgery leading to three months on the ventilator, breathed in air today.
I felt your relief.

The mother who stood in the ward reception, alone. Her son being prepared for emergency transport to Great Ormond Street.
I felt your tears down the back of my neck.

The mother whose son was admitted for the fifth time this year.
I felt your friendship.

The mother whose baby was too ill to stay, they told you in a language you don’t speak.
I felt your heart breaking.

The mother whose child was having yet more surgery.
I felt your disbelief.

The mother whose child had a cardiac arrest.
I felt your faith.

The mother whose son had ground breaking, life saving surgery.
I felt your admiration.

The mother who was just a child herself, caring for a child with kidney failure.
I felt amazed by your courage.

The mother who remained stubborn, and didn’t give up.
I felt your denial, but you were right.

The mother who nursed her premature twins in hospital, whilst looking after her toddler at home.
I felt your exhaustion.

The mother who was doing it all on her own.
I felt your disappointment.

The mother whose child defied the odds, and is thriving.
I felt your joy.

The mother whose child keeps fighting on.
I feel it every day, son.

We walk along corridors and wait patiently at doors,
To be “buzzed in”, allowed to see the one we adore.

Surrounding us are machines which constantly beep,
We sit and pray that they don’t wake your sleep.

“Try not to watch the screens” the staff advise,
But it’s so hard to divert our eyes.

Days are filled with procedures, gases and bloods,
The worry they evoke is like a suffocating flood.

Sometimes you lie and rest, peaceful and still,
We watch on feeling calmer, until …

The roller coaster ride takes another sharp turn,
The pain on your face makes our eyes burn.

You kick and you cry, we see your distress and your harm,
Wishing we could just scoop you up in our arms.

You fiddle with the wires attached to your skin,
Pushing against your breathing tube from within.

Your friends in blue provide 24 hour care,
This is the journey that together we’ll share.

A truly tough part is the sheer unknown,
Not even a hint of your future is shown.

Trying to stay positive and cherish each day,
But wanting to hit ‘fast-forward instead of play.

I carry the guilt of whether I did something wrong,
Is that why you’re here, and not where you belong?

You arrived 14 weeks early without any notice,
Our beautiful baby boy, Otis.

Tales from the Crib

Premature baby was so poorly the nurses said he was ‘growing his wings’ ready for heaven
Doting dad reveals the trauma of seeing his baby son fight for life in intensive care