Premmie Babies return to Mater after 26 years

At just 24 weeks’ pregnant Adele Cameron delivered her twin boys Harry and Patrick at Mater Mothers’ Hospital on 15 December 1992. Today she returned to visit the Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) where the twins spent the first months of their life to thank the staff for the care they received 26 years’ ago.

Adele, who was cared for in the old Mater Mother’s Hospital, was keen to see the new Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) and hear about how things had changed in the care of premature babies.

“It’s a very peaceful and quiet space, I can remember any noises would startle the boys so it’s nice to see everything is so calm in here,” she said.

“It was an incredibly scary and overwhelming time. They were so tiny, Harry weighed 656 grams and Patrick was 755 grams and they had to stay in hospital for five months until we could go home.”

Nurse Unit Manager Preterm and Medical ICN Angela Sly showed the family around the unit and explained how the care had changed. 

“Our equipment has evolved and improved over the years, but we find the experience of having a premature baby is much the same for parents as it always has been. We work hard to include the parents in the care of their babies as much as possible,” Angela said.

“In this unit we have 79 cot spaces and care for over 2000 premature and seriously ill babies each year. The unit is very well thought out with the work spaces as minimally invasive to parents and babies as possible.”

Today there are still a small number of nurses working on the ward who would have cared for the boys at the time. Harry and Patrick are both happy, healthy 26-year-olds currently studying in the field of allied health.

“The team love hearing success stories from the babies we have cared for. It’s so wonderful to know we have made a lifelong impact,” Angela said.

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