Touching moment paralysed man in Sheffield hospital is given the gift of seeing his daughter being born

This is the touching moment a new dad receiving specialist care in Sheffield after being left paralysed was able to be at the birth of his first child.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 10:59 am
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 11:02 am

Jordan Anderson, aged 24, and his wife Emily, 23, were dealt a double blow when Jordan suffered a devastating spinal cord injury after an abscess burst in his spinal cord.

He was paralysed him from the ribcage downwards and was told he would need 24-hour specialist care at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, 20 miles from where his wife was due to give birth at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

This meant that the first-time dad had ‘prepared’ himself for not attending the birth, and his wife had even made ‘other plans’.

Elsie weighed 6lbs and 2ozs

Jordan said: “I had prepared myself for the fact that I wouldn’t be able to be there for the birth of my first child.

“It broke my heart seeing Emily so upset and knowing that I couldn’t be there to support her, or be there to see the birth of my child.”

Emily added: “I hadn’t seen Jordan face to face since he was admitted to hospital and we hadn’t really discussed him being there at the birth because we didn’t think it would ever happen.

"In fact I’d made other plans, to have my sister with me.”

Jordan and Emily with baby Elsie

However, staff on the orthopaedic ward at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and midwives at Chesterfield Royal Hospital decided that the couple had to be together, despite a number of complications.

A number of virtual meetings, sometimes involving up to 19 different clinicians, took place to make the necessary arrangements to support the couple, and pregnancy complications meant that Emily had to be induced early, meaning the complex arrangements then had to be finalised in a couple of days rather than weeks.

Emily said: “I knew that plans were in place to try and get Jordan to the Royal, but I had to be induced due to pre-eclampsia.

"My baby’s heart rate began to deteriorate so the decision was made to get me to theatre for an emergency C- section.

Jordan is being cared for in Sheffield after a life-changing spinal injury

"All I wanted was for Jordan to be there with me.

“I heard one of the theatre staff saying something like ‘we need to get Dad here’ and within five minutes he was here. I’ve never felt so happy to see anyone, to see him there with me at that moment made all the difference.”

Jordan said: “It meant the world to me being there during the birth.

“To see my child literally just being born, I can’t put it into words what that means.”

Baby Elsie was born at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and weighed 6lbs and 2ozs, and Jordan was able to spend some precious time with Elsie and Emily as he was placed under the care of the royal’s orthopaedic department.

Emily said: “I know people say that babies don’t do much in the first few weeks but it’s about getting to know Elsie and I desperately wanted Jordan to be a part of that, I can’t believe the teams from both hospitals were able to make that happen.”

Following Emily and Elsie’s discharge, Jordan was transferred back to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, where he will continue to receive specialist rehabilitative care for the next few months.

Emily is now looking forward to being able to bring Elsie to see Jordan when he can come out into the hospital grounds in his chair.

She said: “They’ve moved heaven and earth to give us such a precious week together as a family.

"Thanks to the time we were given to bond in that first week it’ll be a happy reunion rather than a first meeting and I’m so grateful to everyone for making that a reality.”