Ella’s story (told by Ella’s mum Jo)

I tested positive for GBS (Group B streptococcus) at 36 weeks gestation. I was told I needed to call the hospital when I was in labour and tell them that I was positive for GBS. I went into labour early hours of September 20 2015. I let the midwives know on the phone and they said they will prepare the antibiotics needed to treat me. Unfortunately my labour was super quick and I was only administered one dose of antibiotics (should have had 3 doses) before I had to deliver my baby girl who was full term and 8Ib 3oz. Ella contracted GBS and suffered from Meconium inhalation. The midwives called a code blue and before I knew it there were heaps of nurses on the room. They worked on Ella in the delivery suite before transferring her up to NICU. Ella was placed on a cooking mat for 72 hours and was being treated for GBS along with high and low blood pressure, high and low blood sugar, renal failure and a few other things. My husband and I had to sign permission for the doctors to give her Gentamicin. We agreed but knew there were risks of permanent side affects, but it saved her life. Ella had a lumber puncture done to make sure the infection from the GBS had not gone into her spine which would then lead up to her brain (thankfully it didn’t get to that point). Ella was in NICU for 7 days and then transferred to SCN for another 7days. When Ella was discharged from hospital, we had 3 newborn hearing tests done but none had shown anything. We were then referred to the audiologist for a 3 hour long appointment where Ella was diagnosed with moderate bilateral sensorineural hearing loss in both ears. This is a result of the Gentamicin she was on in NICU. She is now 2yrs 9mths old and wears hearing and sees a speech therapist weekly. She is doing amazing with her speech and is a very strong willed little girl.

The NICU staff are my angels and I could not thank them enough for their hard work in keeping my baby alive.