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Gabriël Jacobus le Roux (Gabe) – d.o.b 22nd August 2011

Angelique le Roux was a first time 38yr old mom, who had to deliver her miracle baby Gabe at 27 weeks by emergency C-section due to the onset of HELPP syndrome.  Gabe weighed 905grams at birth which dropped to just 750grams. Read Gabe’s story as told by his mom Angelique le Roux…

I was initially admitted to 2 Military Hospital, and then transferred to the Groote Schuur Hospital Neonatal Unit which is equipped to deal with very small babies. My first thought was ‘is possible for my baby to survive at 27 weeks, is it even viable?’

The first time I saw my baby was exciting and terrifying at the same time. This little  body surrounded by so many pipes and machines evoked such mixed feelings.  I just wanted to pick up my little man but it was not possible.  My husband had spent the first 48 hours next to Gabe’s bed and refused to leave.  The head of the Neonatology Unit spoke to us and we were told not to have any hopes or expectations as to the survival of our little boy.  The statistics show that white, male very premature babies have a low survival rate.  Together with the many complications that extreme low birth weight premmies experience, the outlook was grim.

A friend of mine nicknamed Gabe Braveheart, and for sure that is his legacy.  NICU is no joke and to the parents that spend day after day after day there, it becomes a prison so secluded from the outside world and a place where all your love is contained in one small little person! A couple of times I thought to myself that it is absolutely impossible to carry on doing this for one more day. 

In hindsight we really had it relatively easy – Gabe had apnoea, which resolved itself eventually.  His ROP and hearing scans were good. We had a couple of scares for infection but three times the tests came back negative.  He never had a brain bleed or NEC.  The worst two situations were related to the apnoea when on the first occasion as they extubated him, he crashed and my hubby stood by as he was resuscitated and again just after his ROP scan (he’d been on room air for just 12 hours) he crashed and I stood watching as he was once again resuscitated.  Both times were an extreme shock but the relief and thankfulness of him pulling through is beyond description.

We spent 10 weeks in NICU at Groote Schuur hospital where the doctors and staff were absolutely awesome!! It was the most incredible and scary rollercoaster ride of my life.  The value of the support of family, friend and even strangers was incredible!

Our story is one of hope and life, one that defied the odds and one that shows that there is light at the end of the NICU tunnel!!