A Sheffield couple whose baby had heart surgery days after he was born have backed plans to give parents medical training.
Sam Davy, of Gleadless Townend, was just 13 days old when he had to undergo major surgery after being born with only half of his heart working.
Sam, now aged two, spent several weeks in hospitals being monitored – but now the Evelina hospital which first treated him is launching a scheme to train parents to do this at home.
And Sam’s parents Rachel and Richard are backing the scheme.
Rachel said: “We spent nearly six weeks in three hospitals, in which Sam was closely monitored all the time.
“By the time we were allowed to go home we were overwhelmed with emotion.
“We were both elated, but extremely nervous to be leaving the safe environment of the Evelina.”
The Evelina London Children’s Hospital, which regularly treats children from South Yorkshire, is teaching parents simple medical knowledge, allowing them to monitor their babies after they have been discharged so they can alert the hospital if they notice any abnormal changes.
Parents are given equipment to monitor their baby’s weight, oxygen levels, heart rate and fluid intake.
Rachel said: “The first few months at home were extremely hard.
“We tried to stay positive and do our best to help Sam thrive.
“However, in all honesty we were just living in hope and desperate to get to the next stage of surgery.
“It was stressful and exhausting.
“When Sam did make it to the second stage and he recovered well we felt like a huge weight had been lifted from our shoulders.
“Having training and medical equipment would have given us more control, more understanding and reassurance.
“If this programme saves lives and takes away some of the pressure we felt, then it’s desperately needed and welcomed.”