A newborn from Somersham is believed to be the last baby ever to be born at Royal Papworth Hospital, marking the end of an era for the facility as it prepares to move.
Weighing just 3lbs 9ozs, Annabelle Haddow was eight weeks premature when she was born after mum Tiffany Haddow was transferred to the intensive care unit at the hospital in Papworth Everard, a few weeks before giving birth.
With the current hospital closing, and services being moved to Cambridge Biomedical Campus, staff believe Annabelle is the last baby that will delivered before the site moves in May.
Tiffany her and husband, Stewart, found out they were to become parents for the first time in July 2018 and the pregnancy progressed as normal, until December.
Ten years ago, Tiffany was fitted with a mitral valve after contracting bacterial endocarditis, a rare infection that affected her valve. Since then she has had to regularly visit Papworth for check ups.
“I was told that my valve had started degenerating,” said Tiffany.
“I was told to slow down and reduce the amount of exercise I was doing. By the start of January I felt ok and was still working.
“I was being monitored weekly and went to the Rosie [Maternity Hospital] for an appointment when I was told I needed rest and wouldn’t be going home until after I had the baby as it was too risky.”
Tiffany was transferred to Royal Papworth in case her valve needed replacing during the caesarean section. As her condition worsened and the pressure increased on her heart, the operation was brought forward by nine days.
At 30 weeks pregnant, she was transferred by ambulance to Papworth and the following day Annabelle was born, in January.
Tiffany said: “I had 10 minutes with Annabelle whilst in theatre but was still quite groggy, and then she needed to be quickly transferred back to Addenbrooke’s [Hospital] to be cared for in the intensive care unit.
“It’s been a really tough few weeks with Annabelle not being home, but at four-weeks old, on the March 3, she was discharged. She’s putting on weight well and is now up to 4lb 6ozs.”