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From 677 grams to 7kgs – Baby Annie’s incredible NICU journey

By January 20, 2021June 24th, 2022No Comments

Like many first-time parents, Andrew and Charlene Tadrosse were excited to welcome their first-born baby – they just didn’t imagine it would happen so early.

“At around 12 weeks I started to bleed, my doctor advised me to stop working. I am a registered nurse, so I went to light duties before stopping completely. Throughout January I was attending weekly appointments with my doctor. I reached 23 weeks and was admitted to hospital in early labour. It all happened very suddenly,” said Charlene.

Charlene was transferred to Royal North Shore Hospital’s (RNSH) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for her baby’s best chance of survival. Charlene gave birth to baby Annie at 11am the next day, 29th Jan 2020.

Charlene and Andrew found strength with having family support both in the delivery room and right outside. Both were also grateful to have Neonatologist Eveline there that night to prepare them for the long NICU journey ahead of them. Eveline explained the risks involved with delivering a 23-week-old baby, such as cerebral palsy and autism developmental problems, but also comforted them by letting them know the chances of a having a healthy baby were much better these days and that the NICU team would do everything they could to ensure that.

Baby Annie being looked after in RNSH NICU.

Baby Annie being looked after in RNSH NICU.

“Eveline was amazing in giving us all the information. She explained it in a way where we were comfortable to make an informed decision on the spot. When I said that I didn’t want Annie to suffer, she reassured me that CPR in babies, like Annie, is usually extremely effective and successful. We really put our baby’s life in her hands and look at us now!”

Baby Annie was 677 grams when she was born.

Charlene said, “I didn’t get to see her. As soon as she came out, she went straight to the NICU team. My brother and sister-in-law went with them to the NICU to see if Annie was okay. It was such a relief when I heard them all speaking positively. It seemed just so efficient and amazing – honestly, it was incredible.”

While Annie was being cared for in the NICU, Charlene and Andrew stayed in RNSH’s Douglas Building, which accommodates patients and carers living in regional and rural areas. The couple were extremely thankful that they could remain close to Annie for what ended up being almost nine weeks. At the time Annie was born there were three other micro-preemies, (premature babies born under 28-weeks gestation) born. Charlene said having the other parents around them was a comfort and proved to be a good support system – they still stay in touch to this day.

annie mothers day

Charlene spending her first Mother’s Day in the NICU with all the other mums and nurses in the unit who she now calls family.

On the 8th June 2020,  two weeks past Annie’s due date, Andrew and Charlene were ecstatic to take her home.

At the time of this article, the family are happy to report that baby Annie is doing well, weighing 7kg and keeping up with her developmental milestones.

Annie is already a real Daddy’s girl; she looks like her father and Charlene is convinced her first word will be Dadda.

“Annie is so happy – it’s been amazing! We were nervous at first when we got to take her home but pretty soon we fell into a routine. And It all just went away – the experience of being in the NICU, the trauma. If you saw us walking down the street, you wouldn’t know what happened. She’s very happy, she’s keeping up, she’s active, she’s alert- she’s such a blessing and she brings us so much joy.”

“What we saw in the NICU was just unbelievable. The professionalism, the knowledge, the training and the support they get from the educators. We spent a lot of time in the NICU, just sitting there not being able to do anything, and often without Annie. We were just watching everything happening around us; it really is like a well-oiled machine. We were so impressed with the amazing medical professionals treating and caring for the most vulnerable patients, tiny, tiny babies, and their worried families. It is what we saw and experienced that made us want to donate and support the team. We wanted to contribute, acknowledge and be a part of this well-oiled machine.” 

Andrew and Charlene taking their daughter Annie home on 8th June 2020

We are so thankful for the support of grateful patients, like the Tadrosse family, who have experienced our healthcare services and want to give back. Our hospitals and staff provide the community with the very best care possible, but we cannot continue to do this without support.

“We have been given the most priceless gift. You cannot put a price on what the doctors, nurses, social workers and staff have given us. Annie is living her happy life, we just wanted to give back and say from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”

If you or a loved one has also experienced our healthcare services and would like to give back, you can support your local hospital with a donation* to our fundraising partner, NORTH Foundation by clicking here.

*Donations $2 and over are tax-deductible.





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