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I was told my baby boy wouldn’t survive birth – then my husband died

When Kelsey Ferguson found out she was pregnant with a baby boy, she was completely and utterly over the moon. After marrying her college sweetheart Scott in 2016, the couple had spent a year trying to have a baby and Kelsey sadly miscarried their first childhood eight weeks. With the help of fertility treatment, the couple found out they were expecting again in 2017. In a personal essay for Love What Matters, the mum explained how they were told their son had a heart defect and a chromosomal abnormality at the 20 week scan, meaning it was unlikely he would survive the birth. She recalled, the doctor came into the room and said, I’m sorry, he is terminal and will not survive.

Scott and I said, we would not give up and we would keep fighting for this baby until his last breath. As a result, Kelsey had to go into hospital for tests twice a week as the baby was measuring so small. It was around this time that Scott started experiencing body aches, joint pain, a nasty cough and fever, but the couple assumed it was a cold brought on by his new job in their recent House move.

On 4 June 2018, Kelsey was admitted to hospital for monitoring and told she’d be induced the following week. After Scott visited her that day, Kelsey and her friend acknowledged that he looked pale and wasn’t himself. Overnight, Scott started coughing up blood and cold an ambulance which transported him to the same hospital as Kelsey. Although he was originally placed in the intensive care unit, scott had improved so much by the afternoon that he was transferred into a regular room for monitoring.

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I was able to get escorted from my room to see him twice a day for a few hours at a time on Tuesday and Wednesday, Chelsea said. He was still having a really hard time getting his oxygen levels up and was getting really frustrated when she didn’t hear from him on Thursday morning, kelsey assumed Scott must still be sleeping, but she later found out he had been transferred back to the ICU. She explained, I went down there and they told me they needed to put a central line into his neck because they were going to do a procedure similar to dialysis, where they would take out his blood, clean it and put it back.

For the procedure, Scott had to be sedated and his lungs were in a much worse state than doctors expected, meaning he’d need to have a bypass. Tragically, the dead to be went into cardiac arrest during the operation. Looking back on the moment she was told, Kelsey said she immediately started throwing up before then, yelling, Is he gone? Doctors tried for another hour to revive Scott and did eventually get a pulse, so he was swiftly taken back to the ICU. At this point, Kelsey was told Scott wasn’t in a stable condition and they wouldn’t know what damage the cardiac arrest would have done to his brain.

After speaking to the doctor, I was able to be with Scott for a bit. I sat next to his bed, holding his hand, telling him how much his son and I loved him, she said. The next day, Kelsey was trying to get some sleep in a waiting room near round the corner from Scott, when she was given the devastating news that there was nothing more doctors could do. I fell to the ground screaming. I threw up some more and couldn’t even believe this was real. It felt like a bad dream that I would wake up from.

Even now, it feels like it couldn’t have been real. After that, Kelsey rushed to his side and held his hand for hours. But after almost fainting several times, her mum urged her to leave the morning. Mum to be later found out that her husband was suffering from the autoimmune disease Wagner’s vasculitis. The day after Scott’s funeral, Kelsey was induced and was well aware that she might now lose her baby too. On 12 June, kelsey welcomed baby Max Lee Russell. She added he was £2 4oz in breathing on his own. He proved the doctors wrong and hasn’t stopped since. Maxley does have a heart defect in a chromosomal abnormality, neither of which are terminal.

After spending the first four months of his life in hospital, kelsey was able to take Maxley home in September, just three days after his dad’s birthday. The following January, he underwent open heart surgery. Although the operation itself went well, his condition plummeted in the following days. And in a heartbreaking twist, he eventually ended up on the same life support machine as his dad. Amazingly, Maxley pulled through that time and Kelsey reminds her son every day how much his daddy loves him.

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