‘Lucky to be alive’ - baby Theo’s miraculous survival after being born 10 weeks premature
- Credit: Archant
When Theo Nicholson was rushed to a life support machine, unable to breathe after being born 10 weeks premature, his parents feared the worst.
But today, he is a "normal little three-year-old" - thanks to the NHS doctors and nurses who saved him.
What was meant to be the happiest moment of dad Jonathan and mum Jemma's life turned in an instant anguish when they saw their beloved newborn child taken away to an ventilator at Ipswich Hospital, unable to breathe for himself.
In his battle for life, the little fighter was transferred to a range of different units - including in London, Colchester and Norwich - for specialist treatment, as lumbar punctures and operations were needed.
Yet after two months of intensive treatment following his birth in October 2018, Theo was able to finally come home and today lives a healthy and happy life with no obvious medical complications.
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His parents, who own The Bell At Sax, are now asking guests to dine and donate for premature baby support charity Bliss so other mums and dads can get the support they need at a critical time.
Mr Nicholson, 51, who has run restaurants and gastropubs across East Anglia, said of the heroic NHS staff who saved Theo: "We put his life in their hands.
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"The NHS were amazing and there were without fault.
"That's when the NHS is at its best - in dire moments, they know what to do.
"He's lucky to be alive and we're lucky to have him.
"We're very lucky parents. He's a happy boy with a great sense of humour. He's a great, normal little three-year-old who is full of character."
During Theo's treatment his parents were supported by Bliss - which helped parents of babies who are born unwell.
"As parents of a premature child, with our son Theo being born 10 weeks early in 2018, we were so pleased to have the help of the Bliss team and services when we needed support," said Mr Nicholson.
As such diners at The Bell At Sax will see a donation of 50p or £1 towards the charity when choosing the designated starter or main course.
Mr Nicholson hopes the move will raise £1,000 for Bliss.
"We are lucky that Theo has now grown up into a happy, healthy toddler but we know other families are not so fortunate," said Mr Nicholson.
"We hope our small efforts to raise funds and promote the work Bliss does to help those similarly affected will enable them to do even more for young lives in the future whenever and wherever the need arises."
David Boorman, head of fundraising and communications for Bliss, said: "We are so pleased that we were able to support Jonny and Jemma at a really challenging time, and are very touched by their desire to give back and the generosity of guests at The Bell At Sax, which will go towards helping families in a similar position and babies like Theo.
"The generous support we receive from the public goes towards training volunteers to help families on neonatal wards, provide thoroughly researched information and guidance for parents, training healthcare professionals, and funding research into issues which affect premature or sick babies."