daughter Zoë had been diagnosed with a large exomphalos
at my routine thirteen week scan. We were referred to Mr Jauniaux
at the University College Hospital Fetal Medicine Unit for
a CVS. Two weeks later the results showed no chromosome abnormality.
It also told us that we were expecting a little girl, which
really helped us create an identity for this tiny person who
was to face many hurdles before she was better. We named her
Zoë, which is Greek for 'life'.
We continued to have regular ultrasound scans at the Fetal
Medicine Unit right up until her birth, including a very thorough
heart scan with Mr Yates, a Cardio-thoracic surgeon from Great
Ormond Street Hospital. Our consultant from GOSH, Professor
Pierro even found the time in his busy schedule to visit us
a couple of times at UCH to answer any questions that we had.
He even arranged for us to visit the Intensive Care Unit and
the ward and meet the staff so that we could picture where
Zoë would be going. It all helped to prepare us for what
So, in July 2000 Zoë was born three weeks early by emergency
caesarean at our local hospital, three days before my planned
and booked caesarean at UCH, London! She was taken to SCBU
where they wrapped cling film around her exomphalos to protect
it and then transferred her to Professor Pierro's team at
the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at GOSH.