Skydive mum: I want to thank hospital

March 03 2017

A MUM is taking part in a charity skydive this summer to show her appreciation for staff at Southmead Hospital who saved her son's life.

A MUM is taking part in a charity skydive this summer to show her appreciation for staff at Southmead Hospital who saved her son's life.

Stacey Purnell and her partner James Lewis, both 23, had been eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child.

The pregnancy was plain sailing but Stacey had to be induced after going 13 days over her due date.

"My pregnancy was absolutely fine, there were no complications but everything got worse when I went in for an induction," she said.

"There were a roomful of medical people on standby incase I needed an emergency caesarian but they managed to deliver Finley with forceps."

Then, what should have been a magical moment, turned to devastation.

"The cord was originally wrapped around his neck and he wasn't crying or responding. My partner cut his cord and then they took Finley away to resuscitate him. Luckily we heard a cry but he had to be taken to intensive care because of an infection they believed had been passed from me to him."

Stacey hadn't been aware she had an infection as it hadn't been picked up previously.

Finley didn't fully respond to the treatment he was given so doctors gave him anti-biotics for suspected meningitis.

"He responded to that treatment which means more than likely it was meningitis," Stacey said.

"What should have been this amazing experience with lovely family time, wasn't like that. We felt sheer panic. I had to be taken for medical treatment straight after the birth so quite literally the three of us were split up. 

"We were only in hospital for nine days but those nine days felt like a life-time. It was quite an ordeal for first-time parents."

Although traumatised by their experience at the time, the couple are only too aware that other parents aren't so lucky which is what has prompted Stacey into taking part in a skydive this summer.

Money raised will go to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Southmead Hospital which had cared for Finley.

"The staff were absolutely phenomenal. They're doing something that you're not able to do. I could never give that back but I'd like to raise as much money as possible to help other people in the same situation so they can get the best possible medical care that they can.

" It's an experience I'd never wish on anyone but it's an experience which will always stay with you. We've had a happy ending but we know that's not always the case."

Stacey will make the 10,000ft leap in Salisbury on July 15 and hopes to reach her £1,000 target by then.

"At the moment I'm really excited but I probably won't be saying that on the day!"

Stacey said the experience has made their family unit closer than ever with Finley a picture of health.

"He's now 15 months old and you'd never think anything had been wrong with him. He's a chirpy little chap!"

If you would like to donate to Stacey's fundraising campaign, please visit