December 18 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 31, 2013
After seeing one-year-old Jessica Pearce-Sylvester playing with her birthday presents it has hard to believe that exactly 12 months ago she was fighting for her life.
The baby girl was born 14 weeks early weighing just two pounds and required emergency life-saving treatment when she stopped breathing.
This week, the paramedic that resuscitated Jessica met up with her again for the first time when he attended her first birthday party.
Jamie Springford, a paramedic with East of England Ambulance Service, said: “There is quite a difference now compared to the first time I saw her last year.
“I believe she weighed two pounds when she was first born. She just about fit in my hand she was that small.
“It isn’t very good when they are delivered that young. Their lungs are undeveloped and they normally have lots of health problems if they survive.
“She is healthy now and fine. She is coming on well and I think she weighs 16 pounds and two ounces.”
“The first thing I did when I walked through the door this time was give her a cuddle.
“She smiled a me and let me hold her. She is a smiley, happy, noisy baby.
Mr Springford was called to St Peter’s Street in Lowestoft shortly after 1.30am on October 30 last year.
Kirsty Pearce, now 24, had prematurely given birth at home and the baby had stopped breathing.
Mr Springford, from Oulton Broad, arrived in less than four minutes and managed to successfully resuscitate the infant, who had been named Jessica.
Jessica was taken to James Paget University Hospital and transferred to the neo-natal intensive care at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where she stayed for a month. She was later transferred back to James Paget and returned home on December 30.
Mr Springford, a 37-year-old dad-of-two, tried to find out how mother and baby were getting on after leaving them at James Paget but had failed until he was called out to treat Jessica’s grandmother Melanie Harvey.
He realised he had treated several other members of the same family, including Jessica.
The baby’s father Matthew Sylvester, 33, subsequently contacted Mr Springford through Facebook to thank him and to invite him to Jessica’s first birthday party at the family’s new home in Cowslip Cresecent.
Miss Pearce said: “I wanted to say thank you to Jamie because if it wasn’t for him, Jessica wouldn’t be here
“She was so tiny but she is growing really well now and everything is normal. She is just doing everything that a normal one-year-old should do.”
Miss Pearce was admitted to James Paget on the Saturday before Jessica was born after her waters broke.
She was discharged on the same day but was admitted again the following morning and stayed overnight.
Miss Pearce went in to labour on Monday night and she gave birth to Jessica on the bathroom floor of her home in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Mr Springford said it was rare for children born 14 weeks early to survive without experiencing health complications