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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Baby Samuel's parents share heartfelt thanks

Baby Samuel's parents share heartfelt thanks

Posted on Wednesday 13th August 2014
scbu donation

L-R: Julia Quinn, sister on the special care baby unit and Dr Jason Gane, consultant paediatrician with the Robinson family

A family from Cockermouth has donated over £1,000 to the special care baby unit at West Cumberland Hospital where their son, baby Samuel, spent his short life after being diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder ‘Trisomy 13’.

The cheque for £1,019.19 was raised at a Tumble Tots fundraiser (a programme of physical activity for children under 5s) at the request of the family and can be added to the £400 they already donated to the unit, raised at Samuel’s funeral.

Parents Andrew Robinson and his wife Jane, have two girls Hannah, four, and Eliana, two, who attend Tumble Tots in Braithwaite, Keswick. This week the family visited the unit to show their appreciation of its valuable work and to thank the staff who helped with caring for Samuel as he bravely battled for life.

Mrs Robinson said: “Despite all his problems we do not believe he was in any pain and in the end he just forgot how to breathe.”

Against the odds Samuel survived for three-and-half days, precious time that the Robinson’s were able to briefly get to know their son.

“He had a lovely smell to him and his sister Hannah frequently commented how soft his skin was to touch.

“We had a small service of dedication for Samuel in his room and he lay quietly in his cot holding his daddy’s finger.”

Dr Deb Lee consultant paediatrician at West Cumberland Hospital, who was part of the team on the unit who cared for Samuel during his short life, said: “The Robinson family has been through an incredibly difficult ordeal, the tragedy around a diagnosis of this nature can be truly overwhelming, particularly for the parents, but Andrew and Jane and their young family have been very strong making some critical and brave decisions that they felt were right for Samuel.

“Our role as healthcare professionals is to support families in these difficult situations so that they feel fully informed, have the right level of information, as well as emotional support and are able to make the right decisions for their baby, their family and themselves at the right times.

“Judging by their continued support, I hope they feel that we achieved that.”

Mrs Robinson said: “During the course of the pregnancy we were made aware that our baby had Trisomy 13, described as a fatal chromosome problem but we decided to carry on with the pregnancy.

“We just could not bring ourselves to end the life of this baby and we wanted to give him every possible chance of survival.”

Samuel was born in the early hours of the 6 January this year, earlier than expected as Jane fell ill from HELLP Syndrome, a type of pre-eclampsia.

“Samuel will always be an important part of our family; none of us know how long our lives will be and Samuel only had 3-and-half days but they were very precious,” she said.

Trisomy 13 or Patau syndrome is caused by a chromosomal abnormality in which some or all of the cells of the body contain extra genetic material from chromosome 13. It disrupts the normal development of the baby causing multiple and complex organ defects, more than 80 per cent of children die within the first year of life.