'You made my family': Scientist meets baby whose life she saved
- Credit: BHRUT
A scientist at Queen's Hospital has met the baby whose life she helped save earlier this year.
Colleen Sanderson, a biomedical scientist with the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), spotted a large foetal bleed when checking a routine blood sample given by pregnant Brentwood woman Angela Burgess.
Angela, 38, had originally attended Queen’s in April to have a cervical stitch removed.
She was about to be sent home from the hospital's antenatal ward, before Colleen conveyed her concerns.
This vital intervention saw baby Grace - a much-longed for IVF baby - delivered on that same day by emergency C-section.
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While first-time mum Angela was able to meet Colleen while in hospital, baby Grace was in the neonatal intensive care unit.
But now Grace is strong enough to meet the lady who saved her life.
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“Without the work Colleen and her colleagues do, Grace wouldn’t be here," Angela said.
"I didn’t know this team existed behind the scenes before, you don’t until something like this happens. I truly appreciate what they’ve done for my family, they are NHS heroes."
The experience also left its mark on Colleen, who in the same week had become an acting senior biomedical scientist.
“She’s beautiful and clearly a fighter. As our role is behind the scenes we don’t often to get to see the patients we’re caring for, so it was very special to meet Grace and Angela.
"Knowing that we made a difference certainly gave me a lump in my throat.”
Baby Grace also got to meet the scientist's manager Xiaohui Tang, who offered a further examination of the blood sample Colleen had flagged.
Angela is adamant that her daughter will know the circumstances of how she came into this world.
“When she’s older, I’ll make sure Grace knows what they did for her too, and this will be in her memory book," she said.
And for Colleen, the mum-of-one has a simple message: "You made my family.”