Cringleford mum Nicola Kermez tells of Christmas horror when her six-month-old baby’s lung collapsed
- Credit: Archant
It was a Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons.
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.
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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.
'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.'
To donate to Mrs Kermez's fundraiser, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nicola-kermez1