Bailey

Jad describes his son Bailey’s complicated arrival and how it inspired him to run the 2015 London Marathon for Sparks.

“Bailey’s birth was difficult from the start and my partner 20131120_233647Kira was induced a week early because she had excess fluid which is normally related to diabetes. Kira doesn’t suffer from it though so  they decided to keep  a close eye on her instead. She also had an infection and the midwives thought Bailey might have had meningitis too. She wasn’t able to push and was rushed into theatre for an emergency caesarean with doctors and nurses surrounding her,” says Jad.

“When Bailey was born, he didn’t cry so we knew something was wrong. He was blue and had the umbilical cord wrapped round his neck. He also had shoulder dystocia which meant his shoulders had been stuck. The first time I saw him, he was battered and bruised,” Jad remembers.

“He was monitored for the first four hours to check for signs of brain damage. We were told he would be put into a cooling chamber to reduce any further harm if the scans did show signs of brain damage. It was traumatic and I remember just trying to take it all in as Kira was still downstairs in recovery. Luckily, Bailey didn’t need to be cooled but he spent the first week of his life in a high dependency unit.”

Now a healthy toddler

“Despite really going through the wars when he was born, Bailey has made a full recovery and is now as good as gold.”

004“We did have to go back to the hospital for three months to check his arm and he had to have physio. While Bailey is okay now, the emotional impact of his birth was huge. He was our first child and it was a scary time.”

Giving something back

Jad decided to run the London Marathon to raise money for Sparks. He explains why, “If it wasn’t for the amount of research that is done, Bailey might not have been cared for in the way he was and may not be the healthy, happy boy he is today. Sparks provide funding into research like cooling babies and hopefully my fundraising can help other children like Bailey.”

Jad completed the marathon in a brilliant four hours and 32 minutes — you can still donate to him on his JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/Jad-Harold/

How Sparks is helping

Professor Marianne Thoresen was part of a research group that developed the first effective treatment against brain injury in infants – cooling to 33.5˚C for 72 hours. Thanks to this technique, the lives of hundreds of babies have already been changed.

Despite their achievements, Professor Thoresen and her team think they can do better. Their goal, as part of a Sparks-funded research project, is to test a new technique of administering xenon gas during the cooling treatment.

They hope to develop safe and affordable treatment that helps babies to survive with less brain injury. By improving the effectiveness of this already successful treatment, this project will help to prevent even more brain injuries at birth.

Find out more about Sparks research projects into cooling.