Joey was the most lovable, charismatic little boy with the cheekiest grin and infectious giggle. He was a happy, thriving, healthy baby who was meeting every milestone. Joey was known for his chubby cheeks and thick mop of dark hair and made us all laugh with his passion for eating. His days were crammed full of activities and adventures and he brought so much joy to everyone who met him.
On Wednesday 17th June 2020, our beautiful baby boy, Joey, gained his angel wings at the young age of 10 months.
Joey started to become unwell at the end of May and initially displayed typical viral symptoms that are common in babies. He displayed symptoms such as a raised temperature, rubbing his eyes and stomach pains. However, he didn’t seem to get any better over a 3 week period. Parents, Gina and Jordan, trusted their instincts and repeatedly took Joey to the doctors and A&E on 5 separate occasions in this time frame. Gina and Jordan then took Joey to a Walk in Clinic as they still weren’t happy with there being no signs of improvement.
Here, Joey had a seizure and was taken by ambulance to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.
Joey was initially treated at James Cook where it soon became apparent that there were some abnormalities on his brain with a CT showing some kind of swelling. Further investigations were required so a decision was made to transfer Joey to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. Joey was transferred by the NECTAR team in an ambulance less than 24 hours after his seizure.
Within 12 hours of arriving at the RVI, Gina and Jordan were introduced to many different doctors and consultants from various different fields. Joey underwent many different investigations including:
- Blood tests
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- Lumber puncture
With Mammy and Daddy by his side, Joey received a lot of specialist care by some of the top consultants in the country. He was seen by neurosurgeons, neuro consultants, the infectious diseases team, cancer consultants and anesthetists.
Quickly, Joey was placed into what is known as Neuro Protection. This is effectively an induced coma which allowed Joey to give his brain a complete rest. It also allowed time for medication to work and other interventions to happen. During this time, Joey was looked after and monitored very closely by staff in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Joey was receiving regular, strong medication, including steroids, antibiotics and antivirals.
While in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) Joey had:
- 2 blood transfusions
- Emergency CT scans
- 2 further MRI scans
- Emergency surgery repairing a burst blood vessel carried out by
- specialist surgeons from the Freeman Hospital
Unfortunately, the treatment could not stop the swelling in Joey’s brain despite the doctors best efforts. This is ultimately what took Joey’s life; the swelling stopped the oxygen from reaching his brain.
At this stage, it is still unclear what triggered the swelling in Joey’s brain and investigations are still ongoing. It has surprised specialists at the hospital as to how a normal, previously healthy baby got poorly so quickly and didn’t respond to treatment.
We are still unsure of which charity the money raised in Joey’s memory will be donated to. We will be forever grateful for The Sick Children’s Trust who provided us onsite accommodation whilst Joey was in hospital so will definitely be making a contribution to them. We are determined that Joey’s story will make a difference to help others. One of plans we have for the future is to set up our own charity in Joey’s name in order to support bereaved parents in similar circumstances.
Joey’s legacy will take us down many adventurous paths and we will carry him in our hearts everywhere we go. The whole family will be involved in fundraising in Joey’s name. Please support us, and Joey, on our many missions to come!