02 November 2007 | 14:46
AN IPSWICH couple whose newborn son died soon after birth today thanked doctors who battled for five hours to try to save him.
Andy and Clare Dungey are today coming to terms with the loss of baby Theodore, but took time to thank the NHS health professionals for their care.
Theodore, who had dwarfism, died in Mrs Dungey's arms after being born with breathing difficulties. But despite their loss, the couple today said thank you to staff at Ipswich Hospital.
Mrs Dungey, a teacher in Woodbridge, said: “We saw how hard they were working to save him and we know they couldn't have done anymore.
“One of the worst things with grief must be thinking 'if only' but there's no part of us which thinks if only they'd tried that.
“Dr Matthew James the paediatrician told us Theo mattered, and even when it looked like there was no hope he said he wanted to try one last thing. That's what we wanted to hear, to know they did everything possible.”
The dwarfism was diagnosed early in the pregnancy, but although they knew respiratory problems were a risk, there was no way of knowing how serious they were.
Mr Dungey, a BT worker, said: “Theodore would have had a poor quality of life so if getting the tube in had been successful, I don't know if it would've been best.
“We didn't want to bring a child into the world if they were going to suffer.”
Mrs Dungey was induced on October 10 and had a caesarean section. Theodore appeared well until he was lifted out and stopped breathing.
He was able to breathe for a short while at a time, but doctors could not put a ventilation tube in to sustain his breathing because of the unusual anatomy of his throat.
Mrs Dungey said: “He wasn't with us for very long but we feel his life was for a reason.
“We are Christians and know he was meant to be in our lives. He gave us an amazing experience and opened our eyes to dwarfism.
“We think about what he brought us rather than just the loss.”
Mr and Mrs Dungey, of Ditchingham Grove, also thanked other hospital staff who helped them, including those from the midwifery, physiotherapy and registration suite departments, and the funeral directors.
The couple, both 28, were allowed to watch on as the doctors treated Theodore, and when doctors stopped treatment, held him for around five minutes before he died.
They have written a blog about their experience at http://littledungey.blogspot.com/
A funeral service was held at Colchester Road Baptist Church and Theodore was cremated. Mr and Mrs Dungey are hoping to scatter his ashes at Southwold, where they got engaged.
N Do you want to thank hospital staff? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org