Cringleford mum Nicola Kermez tells of Christmas horror when her six-month-old baby’s lung collapsed

Little Bella's in the intensive care unit. Picture: The Sick Children’s Trust

Little Bella's in the intensive care unit. Picture: The Sick Childrens Trust - Credit: Archant

It was a Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons.

Little Bella's first smile after her experience in hospital. Picture: The Sick Children’s Trust

Little Bella's first smile after her experience in hospital. Picture: The Sick Childrens Trust - Credit: Archant

Nicola and Mark Kermez, from Cringleford, woke up on December 25 last year to find their six-month-old, Bella, with flu-like symptoms.

She got progressively worse and was diagnosed with respiratory failure and bronchiolitis at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Boxing Day.

Mrs Kermez, 33, said: 'It was really scary as she was swooped from my arms and the nurse ran with her into the respiratory department where she was surrounded by doctors. The whole thing is a blur. All I remember is asking the doctor again and again whether Bella would be OK.'

To make matters worse, the next day a chest X-ray revealed she had a collapsed lung.

Nicola Kermez's daughter Bella taking her first steps. Picture: The Sick Children’s Trust

Nicola Kermez's daughter Bella taking her first steps. Picture: The Sick Childrens Trust - Credit: Archant


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Mrs Kermez said: 'The doctors raced Bella into the operating theatre to have an emergency chest drain. My husband and I were distraught. Our baby was six months old and too small to be going through this horrendous experience. She was so distressed and it was heart-wrenching to watch, but we remained positive that she would pull through.'

Bella was transferred to the intensive care unit at Cambridge's Addenbrooke's Hospital.

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Not wanting to leave Bella's side, Nicola and Mark were told that there was a room available for them to use just minutes from their baby's hospital bedside at Acorn House, a free home-from-home accommodation centre run by the Sick Children's Trust.

Mrs Kermez said: 'We stayed at Acorn House for five nights and it was such a relief to have a base so close to our daughter.

Nicola Kermez, left, and Jen Boyle completed the Bedford Half Marathon. Picture: Courtesy the Sick C

Nicola Kermez, left, and Jen Boyle completed the Bedford Half Marathon. Picture: Courtesy the Sick Childrens Trust - Credit: Archant

'It also meant that Bella's twin sister Gracie and older sister Layla could visit with our family, which made such a difference to all our daughters' well-being.'

Bella went onto make a full recovery and celebrated her first birthday in June.

In gratitude, Mrs Kermez and a friend, Jennifer Boyle, took part in the Bedford Half Marathon earlier this month, raising £1,700 for the Sick Children's Trust.

Abi Abdel-aal, Acorn House manager, said: 'We are so grateful to Nicola for fundraising for us and it is so important for the Sick Children's Trust to support more families who need a home-from-home when their child is seriously ill in hospital.'

Nicola Kermez, left, and Jen Boyle, right, ran the Bedford Half marathon for The Sick Children's Tru

Nicola Kermez, left, and Jen Boyle, right, ran the Bedford Half marathon for The Sick Children's Trust. Picture: Courtesy of the Sick Children's Trust - Credit: Archant

To donate to Mrs Kermez's fundraiser, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nicola-kermez1

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