“We feel like his luck is going to run out” - these are the fears of two-and-a-half-year old Jaxon Adams’ parents if Children’s Services at Pilgrim Hospital are lost.
Jaxon was born to Gemma and Chris Adams, of Skegness, prematurely at 1lb 2oz in October 2015, after he stopped growing at 22 weeks - he had been due the following February.
There were a number of complications during her pregnancy which saw mum Gemma taken to Pilgrim Hospital, then to Norwich and Norwich Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, resulting in more than five months flitting between the two.
The following Christmas, Jaxon suffered from meningitis, sepsis and complete organ failure.
Since then, Jaxon has been a regular patient at Pilgrim and further afield and suffers a number of health-related problems including chronic lung disease, cerebral palsy, muscle hypertonia, ROPI issues, stutters of the heart, and he’s prone to infections and developmental issues.
Now, with ULHT facing a staffing crisis, and options on the table which could see some services transferred to other hospitals including Lincoln, Peterborough and Grimsby, Gemma and dad Chris are terrified over what it could mean for Jaxon’s future.
“We’ve nearly lost him so many times, if it went further away we feel like his luck is going to run out,” said Chris, who called Pilgrim Hospital Jaxon’s ‘second home’.
They added that they ‘nearly lost him’ during another emergency in December of last year when he was rushed to hospital with severe breathing difficulties.
“They didn’t think he was going to pull through then, but he did,” said Chris.
He then suffered from an infection in February.
The couple, who have two other children Josh and Kian, know that they face a future where Jaxon is going to continue to have further medical issues.
“We know he’s going to be ill, we know that.
“When he gets an infection, it gets him really bad. He’s pushing his luck at the moment and having to go further out is going to push it even further.” said Chris.
Jaxon is currently being monitored for his sleeping patterns - a time when he is normally able to heal better.
His parents are looking into ways to help him walk.
Chis acknowledges that staff are busy, Jaxon’s community nurse, they say, is under a lot of pressure and results from Jaxon’s latest sleeping tests have not yet come back.
The parents also say Jaxon has got used to the nurses on the ward, many of whom have given up valuable time to help the boy when he has been in.
Chris said that since the options have been announced Gemma has been incredibly stressed about what is going to go on in the future.
Under proposals by United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, a temporary closure of the inpatients ward would have been put in place from June 4 - however, this has been extended after it managed to recruit four short-term doctors.
Bosses at the Trust have said the service is currently safe, but future crisis coupled with a lack of middle-grade pediatric doctors and some nursing staff, could tip that the other way which is why they are investigating options.
Other options include:
Maintaining services as they are.
Closing paediatric services from June 4 and retaining consultant led obstetrics and neonatology until July 1 when staffing can no longer support neonatology.
Maintain current services including neonatology but stop all planned paediatric operations at both Pilgrim and Lincoln County Hospitals.
Providers across the region to cover neonatal services for Pilgrim maternity and neonatology from July 1.