Noah Vardy's Adventure

Four weeks before our due date, and during a routine check-up, a midwife detected an issue with our baby’s heart rhythm.  We were sent straight to hospital where the doctor confirmed that, indeed, the baby’s heartbeat was irregular.  Until that point, the pregnancy had been normal, so this all came as a surprise.  We were then urgently referred to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and told to expect an assessment early the following week, when they would decide what to do.

Noah, however, had other ideas and decided he wanted to get out and see what all the fuss was about.  As a result, we arrived at the Royal London, Whitechapel, early on Monday 8 April 2013 and from the moment of our arrival until the three of us left together to go home for the first time on Saturday 27 April 2013, the care we received was outstanding.   The delivery room resembled something you might see on TV, with a number of different specialists all on hand to make sure Noah made it out ok.  From the delivery room, Noah was taken to neonatal ICU, which would be his home for the first three weeks of his life.

In the following days, Noah was prescribed appropriate medication and kept under 24 hour surveillance by the neonatal ICU team at the Royal London. He also received consultant input from GOSH, being a specialist cardiology centre.  We sat by his bedside, hoping and wondering, and trying to make sense of the monitors and medical notes.  After what seemed like months, but in reality was less than three weeks, the specialist at GOSH advised that Noah was well enough to be taken home.  Whilst, at that point, Noah’s heartbeat remained irregular, the medication seemed to be working and he had not had any real difficulties since his first few days.

Taking Noah home was a fantastic day, but we also knew that our story was not over.  Thankfully, the subsequent two years have passed without incident.  Noah was on medication for a further year, and part way through that year his heart began beating in a regular rhythm.  The medication was then eased down and, at his last check-up in December 2014, having been without medication for around six months, everything was normal.  We have a further check-up scheduled for December 2015 and, all being well, Noah will then be discharged.

Whilst our three weeks in NICU seem insignificant compared to the months that other babies spend in NICU and, of course, the very tragic ones that never make it home, at the time it was a traumatic experience and an insight into a world that we never really knew existed.  It would be tempting to say that the NICU makes miracles happens but, in reality, it is the hard work and dedicated care of a wonderful medical team and the investment of the NHS and charitable organisations that give premature and sick babies the chance of making it through.


Name: Noah Vardy    Born: 8th April 2013         Gestational Age: 36 Weeks  Hospitals: Royal London                           Parents: Eibhlin & Sam

(Above) Noah at 1 day old

(Above) Happy and healthy. Noah aged 2