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Couple share their joy of being reunited with ‘miracle son’ who died for 17 MINUTES when he was born

A COUPLE whose son ‘died’ for 17 minutes after he was born have told of their joy at being reunited with their baby boy.

Abbie and Laura Tompkins, from Chelmsford, were desperate to start a family and spent £9,000 on IVF treatment using a sperm donor.

After one failed attempt and a heartbreaking miscarriage, Laura finally fell pregnant with Jacob.

But as their beautiful son arrived, the couple were horrified to discover he wasn’t breathing.

Abbie explained: “We sat holding hands and listened for his first, wonderful scream of life, knowing in a few moments we’d be holding our precious newborn for the first time.

“But the scream never came and neither did our longed-for cuddle.

“It didn’t feel real – as if we were watching one of those intense life-and-death medical dramas on TV.

Laura and Abbie Tompkins, baby
Abbie and Laura met on an online dating site in 2012 Laura and Abbie Tompkins

“We couldn’t hold, or touch or comfort him. It was agonising.

“We’d waited so long for this baby and now it looked as if we were losing him.”

Lesbians Laura, now 21, from Kent and Abbie, 24, met on an online dating site in 2012.

Being both care workers they had a lot in common and shared the same aspirations as well as a similar sense of humour.

Abbie explained: “When we met up for the first time in real life we quickly fell in love, and after an eight-month whirlwind romance, decided to get married.

“Our wedding took place in February 2013. Family and friends came to the ceremony and it was a very special, happy day.”

A few months later the couple were chatting about the future and how they’d both love a child to complete their family.

With Laura being three years younger they decided she would carry the baby and set about finding a suitable sperm donor.

Laura and Abbie Tompkins, baby
After an eight-month whirlwind romance the couple decided to get married Laura and Abbie Tompkins

They approached the NHS but couldn’t get any help with IVF treatment because Laura was deemed too young and healthy to qualify.

Desperate for a child, the pair decided to fund it themselves.

In February 2014 Laura started IUI and IVF treatment at Herts and Essex fertility centre using an anonymous sperm donor.

One failed IVF attempt, one miscarriage and £9,000 later, Laura fell pregnant with Jacob.

Abbie said: “We decided to call him Jacob after Laura discovered she was having a boy during her 20 week scan.

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“We couldn’t have been more excited about the prospect of becoming parents.

“We began to relax and enjoy Laura’s pregnancy.”

Everything progressed normally until, at 38 weeks, Laura had to be induced because of reduced foetal movement due to a problem with her placenta.

Laura and Abbie Tompkins, baby
In February 2014 Laura started IUI and IVF treatment at Herts and Essex fertility centre Laura and Abbie Tompkins

Abbie admitted: “We weren’t unduly alarmed. Babies often went a bit quiet towards the end of pregnancy, didn’t they?

“We never, for a single moment, considered there might be some major problem which might put Jacob’s life at risk.”

In May 2015 Laura was taken into Broomfield hospital in Chelmsford to be induced.

Abbie recalled: “We couldn’t contain our excitement. We had everything ready for baby Jacob.

“We’d painted our spare room blue and got loads of cute baby clothes.

“Our dream was finally coming true.”

Laura’s birth was going to plan until the early hours of the following morning when the baby began showing signs of distress.

Doctors rushed Laura to theatre for an emergency C- section and at 2.35am Jacob was born, weighing a healthy 6lbs 10oz.

But he wasn’t breathing.

The panic button was pressed and medics dashed into the room.

Laura and Abbie Tompkins, baby
Laura’s birth was going to plan until the early hours of the following morning when the baby began showing signs of distress Laura and Abbie Tompkins

They tried desperately to save Jacob while Abbie and Laura watched helplessly, terrified the little boy they had longed for so much was gone.

Abbie said: “We couldn’t take it in and went into shock.

“For 17 long minutes – it seemed like an eternity – the medics worked on Jacob.

“Tears rolled down our cheeks as we saw doctors pressing his tiny chest trying to revive him.

“Suddenly, they found a heartbeat and a few minutes later, Jacob made a tiny noise.

“Someone shouted, ‘He’s breathing!’ and I rushed towards him crying, thanking the doctors as I saw his little arms and legs start to wriggle.”

Laura and Abbie Tompkins, baby
Baby Jacob ‘died’ for 17 minutes when he was born Laura and Abbie Tompkins

After a quick kiss from Laura, Jacob was whisked to Guy’s Hospital in London for specialist treatment.

He was diagnosed with grade three HIE – hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy – a brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation to the brain.

As he received cooling treatment to reduce the swelling in his brain, his worried parents were warned their son could be permanently brain damaged.

Three days later Laura left hospital was well enough to visit Jacob at Guy’s.

Despite being given a bleak prognosis for recovery Jacob was allowed to go home in June.

Laura and Abbie Tompkins, baby
The couple won’t know the full extent of Jacob’s brain damage until he is at least one year old Laura and Abbie Tompkins

Abbie said: “We won’t know the full extent of Jacob’s brain damage until he is at least one year old.

“The doctors have told us that he may suffer from cerebral palsy.

“But, whatever the future holds, one thing is certain – our Jacob is a fighter.

“And no matter what the future holds, we will love our beautiful, brave Jacob forever and with all our heart.”
Source:http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/7116792/Mum-shares-the-joy-of-being-reunited-with-the-miracle-son-who-died-for-17-minutes-when-he-was-born.html

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