One year old Dominick Joseph Griffiths-Smith owes his life
to miracle workers at University Hospital of North Durham's
maternity unit for the care they gave to him and to his mum after a
complex pregnancy and birth.
That's why mum Katherine Smith nominated the team for a
MUM (Maternity Unit Miracles) award.
Katherine from Brandon in County Durham said: "On 19th
April 2011, I was 35 weeks pregnant with my first baby, after a
pregnancy with a number of complications, we had found out that my
son was going to be born with a condition called gastroschisis (the
bowels are outside of the body rather than inside).
"On the day my son was born, a friendly looking Midwife
and shy student Midwife greeted me.
"For three hours I was monitored on various machines and
observed by many different doctors and quite understandably I felt
embarrassed and uncomfortable and not sure what to expect. The
midwife made me feel very comfortable, encouraging me to ask for
anything and explaining everything that was going on, why they were
doing it and what things meant.
"Very suddenly I was told that I was going into theatre to
have a C-section and would be given an epidural; as I despise
needles I started to cry and panic. The Student Midwife held my
hand and reassured me about the epidural explaining what was going
to happen and what effect it would have on me. The room was filling
up and she continued to explain who everyone was and why they were
in there which had the effect of making me feel so much more
"The Midwife and student Midwife made an emotional and
scary time so much easier for me and I appreciate it so much. My
son is now one and there have been further hurdles but I think back
to the day he was born and it couldn't have been handled better by
As a result of this experience on behalf of herself and
Dominick Mum, Katherine nominated the deserving team of
Obstetricians, Anaesthetists and Midwives for a MUM award to
recognise the outstanding work of the team.
Allison Metters, Maternity Matron, University Hospital of
North Durham said: "We are absolutely delighted to win this award
which is made all the more special because it is patient nominated.
We strive to deliver the highest standard of care for all the
ladies who come through our unit and to have this recognised
nationally is a fantastic achievement for the whole team. It has
been wonderful to meet up with Katherine and Dominick a year after
his birth and see how well he is doing. We are very grateful to
Katherine for taking the time to nominate us."
Dominick and Katherine joined the award winning maternity
team for a fun packed lunch together with Cha Cha the resident frog
at London's Rainforest Café on 6th November. The maternity team
then attended a reception at the House of Lords on 7th
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community