Baby Tommy heading home to Gladstone

Baby Tommy heading home to Gladstone

Tannum Sands father Mitchell Purcell has spent this Father’s Day with his family who have been separated for the past five months.

His wife Carissa has been cared for at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital Brisbane since April after developing complications while pregnant with their second child Tommy.

After trying to fall pregnant for four years Ms Purcell was diagnosed with placenta perecreta, a serious pregnancy complication where the placenta grows on the left side which is very rare.

“I expected her to be admitted for two weeks when she was 30 weeks pregnant but she wound up being there for a total of eight weeks where she was monitored closely,” Mr Purcell said.

“Tommy was born on 21 July at 32 weeks gestation, weighing only 1.7kg, he was whisked away to the neonatal critical care unit. He was so small and fragile; I was scared to touch him.

“Due to the complications from the pregnancy Carissa had to have a full hysterectomy and could not even see Tommy until he was 30 hours old, I had to keep rushing between floors to check they were both ok.”

Mr Purcell explains Tommy was kept in the neonatal critical care unit for six weeks until he had gained enough weight to go home which has been tough on the whole family.

“Our elder daughter Lily who is five-and-a-half-years-old has stayed in Brisbane with her mother, she has been going to school at the Queensland Children’s School here at Mater which she has loved,” Mr Purcell said.

“I run my own engineering company and have been going back and forth between Gladstone and Brisbane trying to spend as much time with the family as possible.

“Tommy has done exceptionally well in the unit and has been allowed to go home early which we are thrilled about.”

Tommy being discharged this weekend makes it more special for Mr Purcell and his family who are looking forward to spending Father’s Day together as a family.

“We are planning on having a relaxing family lunch together and settling into life as a family of four,” Mr Purcell said.

“I wanted to thank our obstetrician Dr David Moore, paediatrician Joy Domingo-Bates and everyone who took care of us through our journey, we could not fault the experience and the care we have received has been phenomenal.”


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