A MIRACLE baby has been named after Redditch’s hospital in tribute to the NHS teams who saved his life.
Tiny Alex Dipple – whose dad Ian is the editor of the Standard and a Save The Alex campaigner – faced a battle for his life after a placental abruption meant it became a race against time to deliver him safely.
And ironically after parents Ian and Elisabeth decided to name him Alex after the hospital he was due to be born in, he was actually delivered miles from home in Ipswich at 6.43pm on Sunday, August 17, weighing 5lbs 1oz.
The newborn faced bigger challenges than most even before his birth as he was conceived using IVF treatment and the Dipples were told just eight weeks into Liz’s pregnancy he had no heartbeat. Desperate to get closure, they sought a second opinion at the Alex where they were told he was still alive.
Two weeks ago, the pair went to Ipswich for a last break away before they became parents, but after suffering a massive bleed in the night, Liz – a midwife at the Alex – knew they had to get to hospital quickly.
Ian said: “The ambulance journey was the most horrendous thing I’ve ever experienced in my life because you know blood is never a good sign.
“We both thought we’d lost him.”
At the hospital, the midwives found a heartbeat but it was so similar to Liz’s pulse the couple faced another agonising wait to confirm whether Alex was still alive. After confirming he was, doctors agreed to induce labour the following day but his heartbeat suddenly crashed hours later and Liz suffered another massive bleed.
That meant they were rushed into theatre for an emergency Caesarean section. When he was born the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck three times so there was a delay of 30 seconds before he made a sound and the couple again thought they might have lost their son.
Ian said: “It was the longest 30 seconds of my life, it felt like hours.
“He didn’t make any noise and both of us were looking at each other thinking please not now at the very end.
“Then he made a little cry – I can’t describe the feeling, it was a mixture of relief and joy and excitement and everything all together.
“Without the team in Ipswich, I could have lost my son and my wife.
“I don’t really have the words to say thank you to them, I just thank God every day for them.”
After being kept in for five days, the Dipples were allowed home to Redditch but were admitted to the Alex for two days to deal with baby Alex’s jaundice. However, he is now back at home and doing well.
And Ian said it showed the importance of keeping local NHS maternity services open.
“In a different set of circumstances – if we were travelling home or if Ipswich had been downgraded and the nearest hospital was miles away, there is a very good chance the outcome might have been different.
“He is a miracle in every sense of the word – we thought he was dead at eight weeks and he’s an IVF baby which is a miracle in itself.
“We think he has been touched by an angel, I looked to the sky as we went into the room for the scan at eight weeks thinking we need a miracle here.
“We called him Alex in tribute to the staff who found him alive and looked after him all the way through.
“Then when he wasn’t born there we thought we can’t make Ipswich work so we’ll have to stick with Alex.”