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Thetford mum's thanks to West Suffolk and Addenbrooke's hospitals for saving her premature baby's life




The mum of a premature baby has spoken out to thank the neonatal intensive care (NICU) units of two hospitals for saving her son’s life.

Marcia Silva, 20, of Thetford, said no words or gestures could ever be enough to thank West Suffolk Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Hospital for the care they gave Romeo, who was born prematurely on August 5, 2020, at 24+ 4 weeks and weighing just 730g.

Now six-months-old, rolling over, smiling and growing stronger by the day, Marcia credits staff at the two hospitals for getting Romeo to where he is now.

James Rom and Marcia Silva with their seven month old baby Romeo, who was born at 24 weeks. They are wanting thank West Suffolk Hospital and Addenbrooke’s as their NICU teams helped Romeo to survive being born prematurely.....Picture by Mecha Morton .. (44548123)
James Rom and Marcia Silva with their seven month old baby Romeo, who was born at 24 weeks. They are wanting thank West Suffolk Hospital and Addenbrooke’s as their NICU teams helped Romeo to survive being born prematurely.....Picture by Mecha Morton .. (44548123)

He stayed in NICU for 115 days – finally returning home on November 28 – a time Marcia describes as the hardest of her life.

“We took everything step by step,” said Marcia. “Romeo had a few troubles along the way. He caught an infection, he had a hole in his heart, he had a grade two bleed on his brain, which went to a grade four at one point.

“He was supposed to have an operation to close his heart, but that’s when he got the infection and they couldn’t operate. But after he recovered from the infection they checked his heart again and it had closed a little bit more on its own and he no longer needed an operation.

James Rom and Marcia Silva with their seven month old baby Romeo, who was born at 24 weeks. They are wanting thank West Suffolk Hospital and Addenbrooke’s as their NICU teams helped Romeo to survive being born prematurely.....Picture by Mecha Morton .. (44548122)
James Rom and Marcia Silva with their seven month old baby Romeo, who was born at 24 weeks. They are wanting thank West Suffolk Hospital and Addenbrooke’s as their NICU teams helped Romeo to survive being born prematurely.....Picture by Mecha Morton .. (44548122)

“I don’t know how I managed the four-and-a-half months he was in NICU. At the time, I was being strong for Romeo. I just wanted him to be healthy enough to come home.”

When Marcia and her partner James Rom were unable to visit Romeo, they could video call NICU and see their baby, while Marcia said staff were happy to take calls and tell them how he was doing day or night.

Bringing her baby home to Thetford on November 28 was a nerve-wracking time.

“The doctors told me he was a normal baby but for me, knowing what he went through, I didn’t look at him as normal but still sick. If he cried I would start panicking,” said Marcia. “But at his latest check up they were really pleased with how he is getting on.”

“No gifts or words could thank the hospitals for what they have done for my little boy. What they have done is remarkable and they don’t get enough credit,” she said.

“Especially during this pandemic they did so much to help us to see him even when we couldn’t visit.”

Marcia said West Suffolk Hospital staff even made Romeo his own tiny Hallowe’en and first Christmas outfits.

“The staff really do care about their job and they were looking after Romeo as if he was their own. I felt he was safe in their hands.

“I think they deserve recognition for what they’ve done. They saved my boy’s life,” she added.

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