Rob Wilcock and his wife Rachel were expecting twin daughters but the pregnancy was complex and early in 2020 scans showed the babies were struggling.
The couple was forced to make some difficult decisions about how to try to save the babies. They were supported by the foetal medicine unit at the JR Hospital, Oxford.
A specialist laser procedure took place in London to try to save both babies, but sadly one of the twins, Zoe, passed away the next day. The family returned to the care of the JR team to support little Keziah, who received transfusions while still in the womb to keep her alive.
“As a nurse myself I know what good care looks like. And we were receiving the kind of support I would like to hope I give my patients,” said Mr Wilcock, who is more used to offering clinical care than being on the receiving end.
Keziah was born early and supported by the neonatal team with Mr and Mrs Wilcock able to take her home some weeks later. Through it all the family received exemplary care.
Mr Wilcock said: “The empathy, kindness and professionalism we received during such a difficult time was just outstanding.”
“I know just how hard things are for these teams - there is real pressure on them - so to experience the work and the incredible support they gave us through this very difficult time was humbling. I feel a real debt to the team.
“The medical care was textbook – we couldn’t have asked for better - but as well as this, it was the little things that helped us through the dark times. A kind word or a cup of tea offered at just the right time. Their professionalism and compassion was exemplary.
“As a nurse I recognised that this was the kind of care I aim for. And as we come out of the other side, with our beautiful, happy little girl, I wanted to do something to say a real thank you and let the team know what a difference they have made to my family.”
Mr and Mrs Wilcock organised some bake sales and Mr Wilcock did a sponsored run from the Horton to the JR, raising over £6,000 to fund an additional Cardiotocography CTG machine (a paediatric heartbeat monitor) for the JR.
“It was easier than we expected to raise such a large sum and we found it helpful to do something positive to help other families as a lasting legacy to our daughter Zoe,” he said.
The couple’s donation went to Silver Star LINK, which is part of Oxford Hospitals Charity, working to make a difference to maternity services in Oxford.
Maggie Findlay from Silver Star said: “We are so very touched by Rob and Rachel’s kind and generous fundraising and also their supportive words which mean so much to the team.
“We would a like to share our thanks to Rob and Rachel for all they have done – and to the maternity and neonatal teams that helped them through.”