Family Stories

Susie and Andy

Already a mother of one, Susie has been on a long, emotional journey to become pregnant for a second time, spending thousands of pounds on IVF in order to conceive.

Susie has finally fallen pregnant with triplets and is now sixteen weeks pregnant. However, there’s a problem and she has to be closely monitored as two of her babies, who are identical twins, may have a life-threatening blood sharing condition.

Usually the placenta is shared equally, but when it’s not, one baby can receive too much blood and the other too little. This condition is called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, or TTTS.

If TTTS develops and the team do not treat it, then there is a 90% chance Susie will miscarry the whole pregnancy, losing all three babies fairly rapidly.

The team treat the condition by using a laser beam to seal off some of the blood vessels in the placenta shared by the twins, so that both babies receive a more equal supply of blood.

The surgery is successful and Susie’s triplets are born healthy at her local hospital.

Susie and Andy said: “Vinnie, Eddie and Max are 7 months old and keeping Susie, Andy and Henry busy. They’re loving real food, starting to get on the move and finding their voices.

“Henry is loving being a big brother for the first, second and third time all at once. This entirely new kind of joy in the house wouldn’t be possible without Professor Basky and the team at St George’s. Thank you.”

Noreen and Andrew

Noreen has been trying for a baby for four years. Now sixteen weeks into her pregnancy, she and her husband Andrew have discovered their baby has become tangled up in the lining of the amniotic sac, a condition called Amniotic Band Syndrome.

The band has become tight and already cut off circulation to several tips of the baby’s fingers, and now a foot risks being amputated too

Amniotic Band Syndrome is extremely rare and can be caused by the baby kicking its foot through the amniotic sac early on in development, causing a ribbon of tissue to form inside the womb which the baby then gets caught up in.

The fetal medicine team agree to a pioneering procedure, to go inside the womb and try and cut away the band wrapped around the baby’s foot. But the procedure comes with a significant risk of causing miscarriage. The surgery is a painstaking and delicate procedure, but they manage to release the foot.

Noreen and Andrew go on to have a successful pregnancy and their baby boy is born healthily later in the year.

Noreen and Andrew said: “Paolo is now a six month old happy and smiley baby. He’s learning to babble and smile and keeping Noreen and Andrew very busy!

“Paolo will require surgery in the future on the digits of his hands which are fused together and his right foot, other than that he’s very healthy and growing well. He is continuing to receive care from the St George’s paediatric team and Noreen and Andrew are very grateful for all the care they have received.”

Zoe and Jack

Thirty-six weeks into her pregnancy, Zoe has found out that her baby has fluid building up in parts of its brain.

Too late for further investigations, doctors have decided it is best for Zoe to deliver the baby and carry out further tests once the baby is born in order ascertain the cause of the fluid.

However, doctors are concerned that the baby may have difficulties breathing straight after birth so a large, specialised medical team is assembled.

Baby Una Joy is born and after some initial breathing difficulties, she’s transferred to the neonatal unit to be monitored by specialist staff.

Following further diagnostic tests, Una Joy is diagnosed with a mild form of Weaver’s syndrome, a genetic disorder which affects learning and mobility.

Zoe said: “Una Joy Is now 10 months old. She loves Winnie the Pooh, Light Sabres and the Family Guy theme tune. Una Joy is always laughing, nearly crawling and enjoys her food.

“She is still under the local care of Dr Singh and shows to be developing very nicely. She has been having her head measured regularly and her head circumferences tract her to the 99.6th percentile. In short she has a large head but it does not appear pathological, therefore sees no need for further scanning or intervention.

“Zoe, Jack and Una Joy are enjoying their time as a family and can’t thank the amazing staff at St George’s enough for their hard work and compassionate attitude towards them.”