Claire Bennett Update

Surgery continued

**Trigger warning – distressing content**

I had nipped to another level of the building I was telling Tom how there was a lady running a blood transfusion to CPICU. She was in a real rush. I told Tom I was worried it was for Florence, he told me I was being stupid.

After about 20 mins of somewhat relaxing, the phone rang it was CPICU, they told us we had to come upstairs now, they couldn’t tell us why over the phone. We ran upstairs utterly terrified, Florence’s nurse came to speak to us, but we cannot remember what he said I asked if she had a blood transfusion, she had. I was gutted, what if I had delayed the blood getting to you. I have never had such guilt.
The ward sister came to speak to us, she said ‘they had got you back,’ I had to ask if she had died, she hadn’t but she had a cardiac arrest. They had to administer CPR for 18 minutes.
They had to re-open Florence’s chest and they could see that her heart was beating still, but it was dry. After what seemed like a lifetime, her nurse and the paediatric Consultant came to see us, they couldn’t tell us why she had arrested yet but they spoke us through the potential neurological implications. They informed us the surgical team would come and speak to us shortly.

We thought we had lost her.

Waiting in that quiet room was oppressive and stressful, I was pacing and fidgeting, Tom was quiet and very still. The surgical team walked in and explained it was a rare phenomenon called ‘fluid loss to the third space’ her body rejected her blood once it had been through the plastic tubes on the heart/lung bypass machine. There was no guarantee it wouldn’t happen again. How could our little Dot who was 4 days old, had open heart surgery and a cardiac arrest have been through so much in her tiny life?
Once Florence was stabilised, we were allowed to come through. It was a lot more settled around her bed now. Her nurse took us through her drugs and what they did, he explained how she had taken an entire adult bag of blood.
We sat with her for hours before finally going down to bed around midnight. We phone CPICU just before we went to sleep to check inc this became part of our nightly routine.

This was the toughest day of our entire lives, but she has proved to us she is strong and tough. We are so proud of her!

Leicester Royal InfirmaryKeepthebeatHeart LinkTiny Tickers “The Tiny Hearts Charity”Little Hearts MatterEast midlands Congenital Heart CentreBritish Heart Foundation