A MUM has braved dizzying heights to help raise awareness of a newborn infection which almost claimed her baby son’s life.
Little Alfie Poole was very poorly when he was born seven months ago.
He wasn’t breathing and it took doctors two minutes to resuscitate him. Mum Jennie Poole, from Haydock Avenue, Sale, was told Alfie had developed sepsis as a result of contracting Group B Steptococcus (GBS).
Jennie, who is also mum to Leo and Ollie, said: “Alfie's birth was horrific. My husband Matt and I didn't get to hold him or touch him as he was rushed off to Neo Natal Intensive Care.
"When we saw him four hours later, he was covered in tubes and wires in an incubator, where he spent the first 48 hours of his life. He had to have his brain function monitored to make sure he wasn't brain damaged as he had took so long to breathe.”
Group B Streptococcus is the UK's most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies. Between one and two out of every 10 infected babies will die but most infections are preventable.
Group B Strep Support informs families and health professionals on how to take steps to save babies’ lives.
“I had never heard of GBS and it was only when I Googled it that I came across the charity,” said the 30-year-old.
“A lot of people have never heard of it and it is not something tested for on the NHS, despite the test only costing £11. This was my third pregnancy and I had only heard of it once my son was lying in Neonatal Intensive Care.”
Alfie spent the first 20 days of his life in hospital but thankfully got better. Jennie later found out that she was a Group B Strep carrier.
The lack of awareness drove her to want to help the charity spread the word and ensure parents-to-be know that testing was available.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the charity, Jennie teamed up with fellow mums to do a 13,000ft skydive at Hinton-in-the-Hedges Airfield in Northamptonshire in July.
The women were cheered on by Group B Strep Support founder Jane Plumb.
“On the day I was more excited than nervous,” said Jennie. “It’s something I have always wanted to do but doing it for a worthy cause made so much more difference.”
Jennie raised £410 from the charity skydive and is already planning her next fundraising feat. There’s still time to donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/jennie-poole.