Grieving Teesside Mum Raising Awareness Of CDH

21 February 2018, 06:00

Oliver Jacklin

A mother from Teesside is raising awareness of a rare condition that took her baby boy’s life at just six days old.

Oliver James Jacklin was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), which is an abnormal development of the diaphragm, causing the stomach and bowel to move upwards – putting extreme pressure on the lungs.

The condition affects one in every 2,500 babies and can cause breathing difficulties, increased heart rate or cyanosis, which is a blue colouring of the skin.

Oliver was born in August 2016, but despite putting up a brave fight, died less than a week later.

His mum Jade, from New Marske, is now raising awareness of CDH and says if she’d known about the condition earlier in her pregnancy, then she may not have had such a heart-breaking conclusion.

Jade told Heart:
“I went in and saw CPR being performed but I was taken out because I had a panic attack.”

“Then within a few minutes they couldn’t do anything else.” 

“I spent as much time as I could with him, I went to the morgue with him the next day.”

“I then went to the chapel of rest where I continued to hold him until the last day.”

Jade was first made aware that Oliver may have the condition during her 20 week scan, a potential diagnosis she says robbed her of a so-called normal pregnancy.

“If I knew a bit more beforehand I’d have been more aware.”

“It was just sprung on me at 20 weeks, it was more nerve-wracking and I couldn’t enjoy the pregnancy.”

“I was told to abort Oliver so it was all things like ‘is he going to survive, is he not going to survive’?”

Jade, who’s set up this Facebook memorial page for Oliver, is now calling for a better screening process that could detect CDH earlier.

“I want to raise awareness so people know about it.”

“Even if unborn babies aren’t diagnosed it’s worse because things happen afterwards, but when you know you have a rough idea because of your consultations.”

“Even at 28 weeks, if they want another scan they should let them to make sure there are no problems.”

“There’s always going to be a part of me that’s empty – I’m proud to be Oliver’s mam.”