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Student nurse spends birthday on placement at neonatal unit that treated her

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A children’s nursing student from the University of Chester has celebrated a very special birthday at the neonatal baby care unit that looked after her when she was born 20 years ago.

Jessica Jones, from Warrington, turned 20 on 22 February and celebrated at Warrington Hospital, where she is taking part in a training placement as part of her degree.

“For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a children’s nurse”

Jessica Jones

Ms Jones said: “I was born after an emergency C section on Monday, February 22 1999 – eight weeks early! My mum hadn’t had an easy pregnancy with me and was in hospital for monitoring due to reduced movements.

“At this time my mum was also a midwife at Warrington Hospital,” she said. “The consultant at the time wasn’t happy with my heart rate, so decided to do an emergency C section to get me out and that’s how I ended up on the neonatal unit.

“My lungs were very premature, so I ended up being ventilated and then on CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to help my lungs get stronger. I needed feeding up and I was eventually allowed to go home when I was a bit stronger,” she said.

Ms Jones noted: “It was a very surreal feeling to be spending my birthday on the ward that looked after me 20 years ago and to be working with nurses and nursery nurses that fed me and changed my nappies!”

She added: “I also feel lucky to be in the position I am to be able to come back and work alongside the amazing professionals that make a difference to families every day. I was really excited to go back there on my placement and possibly meet some of the staff that cared for me 20 years ago.”

She was joined by a group of nurses and nursery nurses who cared for her during her time in the unit after she was born prematurely.

“I would like to wish her luck and I am sure she will be an asset to the profession”

Shirley Wildgoose

Shirley Wildgoose, recently retired neonatal nurse, who cared for Jess when she was on the unit 20 years ago, said: “It is a blessing that Jess decided to train in order to be a nurse and care for infants as she was cared for 20 years ago, I would like to wish her luck and I am sure she will be an asset to the profession.”

Nursery nurse Julia Austin said: “I worked alongside her mum when she was a midwife and now I am honoured to now work alongside her daughter as she trains to be a nurse.”

Ms Jones added: “For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a children’s nurse, my mum, auntie and grandma are all nurses too – so I guess you could say it runs in the family. However, I’m the only one that has gone into paediatrics and I genuinely couldn’t see myself doing anything else!

“I absolutely adore being on placement, I love meeting children and families from diverse backgrounds and being part of a team to help people when they’re most in need,” she added.

Lucy Wallace, programme leader for children’s nursing at the University of Chester, said: “This is such an amazing journey – what a special way to celebrate your birthday!

“Jess is a dedicated and professional student nurse who takes every opportunity to learn and become the best children’s nurse she can be,” she added.

University of Chester

Jessica Jones

Pictured (left to right): ward manager Deb Weaver, Julia Austin, Jessica’s mum Sarah Jones, Jessica Jones, Shirley Wildgoose and Sharon Foreman

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