‘Little Soldier’ Sidney
Born 13 weeks early and weighing only slightly more than a 1kg bag of sugar, Sidney was just five days old when he developed a potentially life-changing blood infection.
Described as a ‘little soldier’ by his mum Emily Mullan, Sidney was expected to need at least one blood transfusion as he was born prematurely but the infection meant he needed four units of blood as well as two platelet transfusions.
Emily, who is a children’s nurse at the Isle of Wight Hospital, said: “If Sidney hadn’t of got his platelets when he did, it could have been life changing for him.”
A blood transfusion is often needed for premature babies to replace the blood taken for essential testing as premature babies do not make many new red blood cells in the first few weeks after birth. However, Sydney’s infection meant his platelet count went down to a dangerously low level of four and could have put Sydney at risk of a brain bleed.
Luckily, Emily’s little soldier made a full recovery and is expected home by the end of the month to coincide with his original due date of 30 October. Sidney, who was born on 29 July weighing 2lb and 5 ounces, is happily putting on weight but still has some way to go to catch up with his older sister Honey who weighed 7lb 11 ounces when she was first born.
Emily, 32, from Cowes, said: “Going through something like this makes you more determined to keep donating. I have donated about 14 times but you are very reliant on people giving it.
“People don’t think of babies having blood transfusions, they think of people having accidents and operations. Premature babies are quite common. You never know when it could be you or one of your close relatives that need blood.
“I would like to thank all fellow donors for each and every donation they have made. Without those blood and platelet transfusions, Sidney would not be the little soldier he is today fighting on.”