A COUPLE told how they had to leave their poorly son so they could look after his more ill twin in a hospital miles away – only for him to suddenly take a turn for the worse and die.
Rob and Becky Green were forced to make the heartbreaking decision following the early arrival of their baby twins Bobby and Jesse.
The twin boys were placed in neonatal intensive care after they were born at 32 weeks by emergency caesarean section at Calderdale Royal Hospital on August 25.
Bobby weighed 4lb 2 oz and Jesse just 4lbs, and the pair seemed healthy during the first few crucial days.
But four days after their arrival, the pair started to deteriorate and needed transferring to more specialist neonatal hospitals.
Unable to find spaces in the same hospital for both babies, their devastated parents were left in an impossible situation of having to choose which baby to turn their attentions to.
Dad Rob Green, from Huddesfield, said: "They were both struggling with their blood oxygen levels and they were almost taking it in turns to go downhill. We didn't really know what was going on and just watched as the neonatal staff did their amazing work.
"Then, Jesse's right arm started to change colour and was cold because he wasn't getting enough blood to it. They both needed to be transferred but they were struggling to find them both neonatal beds in the same hospital.
"In the end, Jesse had to become the higher priority so they took him to Leeds where they had a bed and Bobby stayed at Halifax because he wasn't doing too badly. "
The couple went to Leeds General Infirmary with Jesse and once he was stable, were told to go home to Lindley for some rest.
But, at 4am, they received a call from Halifax to say Bobby had deteriorated and needed transferring to Bradford Royal Infirmary.
"We drove straight to Halifax because they said Bobby had taken a turn for the worse," said Rob. "Whilst we were there, we then got another call to say we had to get to Leeds immediately for Jesse.
"We knew what was going to happen because we were aware of how serious the situation was.
Still grief stricken, we had to leave Jesse after just a few hours because we got another call to say we had to get to Bradford for Bobby.
By the time we got to Leeds, they'd had to resuscitate him a few times so it wasn't looking good. He passed away with us there – the sepsis had become so overwhelming.
"Then, still grief stricken, we had to leave Jesse after just a few hours because we got another call to say we had to get to Bradford for Bobby. We didn't know what we were going to face when we got there because it was still touch and go.
"Luckily Becky's parents had gone ahead so could be with him before we arrived.
"It was a nightmare and I don't even think we've processed it to this day. It was a nightmare."
The grieving couple, who also have three-year-old daughter Matilda, stayed with their son Bobby at Bradford for around three weeks before he was transferred back to Calderdale and eventually allowed home.
"He is a smiling, laughing eight-month-old now," said Rob. "He's a bit small for his age but he's great.
"We feel so happy and relieved to have him, we're so blessed. But at the same time, we feel guilty because there should have been two of them."
Now, Rob and Becky are on a mission to show their appreciation for the excellent care both babies received by raising money to help other families.
What is sepsis?
Sepsis is the primary cause of death from infection around the world, claiming around 40,000 lives in the UK each year.
That's more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined.
The condition is always triggered by an infection.
Most often the culprit is an infection we all recognise – pneumonia, urinary infections(UTIs), skin infections, including cellulitis, and infections in the stomach, for example appendicitis.
Typically, when a person suffers a minor cut, the area surrounding the wound will become red, swollen and warm to touch.
This is evidence the body's immune system has kicked into action, releasing white blood cells to the site of the injury to kill off the bacteria causing the infection.
The white blood cells and platelets form blood clots in the tissues around the cut.
Blood vessels swell to allow more blood to flow, and they become leaky, allowing infection-fighting cells to get out of the blood and into the tissues where they are needed.
This causes inflammation, which appears to us as the red, warm swelling.
When sepsis happens, this system goes into overdrive.
The inflammation that is typically seen just around the minor cut, spreads through the body, affecting healthy tissue and organs.
The immune system – the body's defence mechanism – overreacts and the result is it attacks the body.
It can lead to organ failure and septic shock, which can prove fatal.
A page called Jesse's Fund has been set-up in their son's memory to raise money for Embrace – a highly specialised transport service for Yorkshire critically-ill babies and children to other hospitals in the region or further afield – and Calderdale Royal Hospital's neonatal unit.
More than £2,000 has already been raised as Rob prepares to run his first marathon in the Lake District later this month.
He has also joined forces with 12 other team mates at his local football team Holme Valley Academicals to complete the 3 Peaks in 24 hours at the end of May.
Another team mate Matthew Clee is also taking on a 110-mile walking challenge on Wales's Llyn Peninsula with just a tent on his back.
"We are so lucky," added Rob. "We just want to give something back.”
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