Lennie was born at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, roughly 70 miles from home in Staffordshire after the family were told he would be born with Gastroschisis.
As the family were aware Lennie would need surgery shortly after birth, being born in Liverpool meant he would have access to specialist care at Alder Hey almost immediately after being born.
Gastroschisis is a rare condition which affects 1 in 3,000 babies. This meant Lennie would be born with his bowels on the outside of his tummy, and surgery immediately after his birth would be needed to put them back.
However, these operations can only be done in a specialised children’s hospital with full paediatric surgery facilities such as Alder Hey, so he was transferred here immediately after his birth in April 2023.
Mum Aynsley had to remain at Liverpool Women’s Hospital instead of travelling to Alder Hey with Lennie, having had an emergency caesarean. This meant it wasn’t until 14 hours after his birth that she was finally able to see her baby boy for the first time. Lennie’s operation was successful, and he was reunited with his mum before being moved to intensive care and then to Alder Hey’s neonatal ward to continue his recovery. This is where he had feed and nutrition through a drip until his bowel had recovered enough for him to take feed.
After making a full recovery, Lennie was then discharged and was able to return to his family in Stone, where he is now able to spend time with his dad Thomas and older brother Tommy (5).
According to mum Aynsley, Lennie is doing very well following his discharge and is just like any other happy baby despite his early difficulties.
The family are now looking forward to taking Lennie out on walks this summer and is planning a trip with him in the UK later this year.
Dad Thomas is also planning to run a marathon later this year to raise money for Alder Hey, as a thank you for the care provided to Lennie.
Mum Aynsley said: “The staff on the Neonatal team have been absolutely amazing. They would encourage me just to take some time away from the wards when needed and I had no worries leaving him with the staff. They were all incredible, they made it as easy as possible. Because we were not in our local area, we didn’t know what to expect, we didn’t know anybody. We stayed at Ronald McDonald house and that really helped, it meant we could all stay together while Lennie was here.”
Speaking about the new family rooms that will feature in the new Surgical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Aynsley said: “When you have a new-born baby, the last thing you want to do is leave them. Even with any child, you wouldn’t want to leave them, so the family rooms in the new building will be very beneficial.”