Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day - Peeps Charity

On April 4 North West England based charity Peeps  celebrated it's 2nd HIE Awareness Day. I asked founder Sarah for a press release to do a blog post, and she humbly said due to Corvid19 the day would be a quiet one.

I wanted to do a post anyway, however was struggling to time it, so thought what better day than #charitytuesday.

This beautiful little lady is Heidi. Heidi had her birth interrupted by HIE with long term consequences. Heidi communicates with smiles, and facial expressions, which her parents are highly tuned into. Heidi has medically complex needs, and her parents have become nurses, doctors and advocates. One of the wonderful parts of her story is her close relationship with her school transport taxi driver.

You can find out more about HIE (Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy here on the Peeps website.

When I was born I too lost oxygen, I never received a diagnosis myself but it's likely that I had grade 1. I know that I was put into a humidy crib at birth, and received oxygen treatment. No record of my birth exist now.

I have had mild coordination difficulties and some executive function issues all my life, although I have always worked around them.

Peeps exists to support all families who have experienced HIE regardless of the severity.

Heidi loves yellow and wearing her collection of Sunshine pants, she adores her new puppy who will be training as a support dog. She loves to laugh.

Heidi would love you to support her here with a donation, because Heidi would like to make sure other families do not feel alone.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Blessed are the Key Workers #COVID19

Blessed are the Key Workers. I can't say that I have crowds or that I am in anyway like Jesus, although I am but that's a discussion for another day, I wanted to write a post that explained what Key Workers are, who they are and what they do.

I don't know about you, but when Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Tuesday 18th March  and said schools were to close on Friday 21st March I had a very limited view on what a  Key Worker was. I thought it was nurses and doctors, you know front line NHS staff, and truly blessed are to have them.

Slowly through social media, I learnt that a Key Worker actually included people I hadn't thought of. Like me. And that children of Key Workers could, in theory still attend school. I made the decision early on that we would make do. I felt that we could manage without school and it was important to decrease the burden on our schools at this time.

You see a Key Worker isn't someone who just directly saves lives, it is anyone who supports the NHS to keep operating safely. When you start extrapolating what that looks like it means vast swathes of the workforce are indeed Key Workers . Blessed are the Key Workers.

So with thanks to Matthew chapter 5 verses 1 through 12 I give you the modern take on the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes for the Corona Crisis

The Corona Crisis Beatitudes for a Modern Global Pandemic

Blessed are our Frontline NHS and Allied Health Professionals. From the anaesthetists, surgeons, nurses, to the scientific researchers, the porters security staff and cleaners. All of whom are one body, working to save those who are afflicted with this terrible virus, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who work in Education and Childcare The teachers and teaching assistants, nursery staff and social workers, all school staff such as cleaners, caretakers, pupil escorts (me), dinner ladies (also me), pastoral care teams and all those who I haven't mentioned who keep our schools and our precious children safe and educated. And provide a safe place so group one can continue doing the work, for they will be comforted. And blessed with two weeks off at Easter (it is Palm Sunday today)

Blessed are our Key Public Services Included in this list are funeral directors and all involved in "managing the deceased", all religious staff, and journalists (all of them, sorry even Piers Morgan for whom I have new found respect, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are our Local and National Government This includes all administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid 19 response or delivering essential public services, including the payment of benefits for they shall be filled. Politicians don't get a mention in this description.

Blessed are our Food and Other Necessary Goods workers, all those who are involved in the production and sale of food, including delivery drivers, supermarket staff, and all those making coffee, especially them, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are those who Work in Public Safety and National Security My heart is particularly with the Police who at this time are enforcing socially distancing measures, basically arresting numptes and bellends who think that its ok to sun themselves in groups on beaches and parks, endangering the lives of the vulnerable. Included also are prison staff, and are Defence staff and all those in supporting capacities, for they will see God.

Blessed are those who Work in Transport those who will keep air, water, road and tail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid 19 response, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are the Utilities, Communication and Financial Services staff who are required to keep all our utilities and communications systems operating. Some of these people are working very fast to build systems that don't exist as yet, thinking of our field hospitals who need a vast array of these sort of functions in order to safely operate. Those who work in postal services and banking for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And a reminder that you can't take it with you, so if you are working in these fields and blessed with large amounts of money, be kind and spread your resources.

The Beatitudes go on to say this "blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven and for the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

So this Palm Sunday let us tweet #BlessedaretheKeyWorkers and support them in their work. Make their days easier, and do the right thing.

#StaySafe #StayHomeSaveLives

Saturday, 4 April 2020

COVID19 and the Neonatal Unit

Hello readers!

Welcome back to my blog. Today I was planning on doing a post about the wonderful Peeps Charity as it's HIE Awareness Day today, a day that this charity set up just last year,

When I explained I would have to delay the post Sarah explained that they had kept the day low profile due to other issues more pressing at the moment.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Many of us across the health activist community are concerned about the breadth of the new guidelines across many health sectors, granting the government new unprecedented and untested powers.

Clearly we are in an unprecedented fast moving situation. I share the petition the other day requesting the clarity on the birth partner issue.

I took for granted what I was really asking for, and hence my concern is this. The guidelines  issued by the Royal Council of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is completely silent on NICU visiting and the Covoid19 crisis we find ourselves in.

Now a straight forward answer is that only mum and dad should be allowed to visit. However we all know that families have a myriad of permutations. My prime concern here is maternal mental health.

I have been diagnosed with complex post traumatic stress disorder. Due to my childhood trauma I was more susceptible to this condition. However one of the risk factors for PTSD is lack of connection. We know that units cannot always accommodate parents to stay on the unit, so this means travelling often large distances.

I have looked at the Bliss statement on this issue which can be found here but again, there is lack of clarity.

I do appreciate this is a fast moving situation and a lot is unknown about the risks to newborns and pregnant women in the light of this virus.

However we do know a lot about maternal mental health and NICU stays .

I think it's essential that the key charities and campaigners in this field create a rigid and clear guidance that advises exactly what units can and can't enforce and most of all offers consistency. Practice can vary from one unit to another.

I am viewing this issue purely at a distance. However my concerns remain that the maternal mental health of mothers has been overlooked in this guidance.

Please tweet your concerns using the hash tag #Covoid19birth