“These chairs are going to provide a lifeline for families.”
Blessy Thomas was taking a break from her job as a theatre nurse at Grey Hospital in April 2021 when her waters broke. She was 33 weeks pregnant.
“I was so afraid. They airlifted me to Christchurch Women’s Hospital where I had an emergency caesarean. It was such a scary time,” says Blessy.
Blessy’s husband, Jithin, drove to Christchurch to meet Blessy and baby Jayden. The family would spend the next two and a half weeks in Christchurch Women’s Hospital.
“Jithin stayed one night with me in hospital and then moved to a motel in Addington. He would come to the hospital two to three times a day, but it was still so tough. Jayden was in NICU on Level Three and I was on Level Five. I was recovering from my caesarean and had a few complications, so I needed close monitoring and treatment. Getting down to see Jayden was difficult.”
But Blessy says the hardest times were during the night.
“I was expressing milk for Jayden, trying to get that to him, trying to do it all on my own. The staff were amazing, but it would have been so much easier had Jithin been able to stay and sleep in the room with me not just for the physical help, but also for emotional support.”