Triplets return with birthday thanks
Three brothers, born three years ago, less than three minutes apart from each other, celebrated their third birthday at Worthing Hospital with the team that brought them in to the world.
Reuben, Daniel and Josiah returned to the Maternity Department, with their parents Helen and Phil Appleyard and sister Anabelle, to be reunited with the specialist carers that looked after them in the womb and in the weeks following their birth.
There were 28 people in the delivery theatre when the triplets were born including a midwife, special care nurse and doctor for each baby, four operating surgeons, the scrub team, anaesthetist and dad Phil.
Labour Ward Lead Consultant, Ms Ruth Mason said: “It is rare for triplets to be born in a district general hospital, but Helen was determined to have her babies delivered at Worthing Hospital.”
The quality of support we received was just immeasurable
The 38-year-old mother of four from Upper Beeding had developed a strong bond with the maternity team at Worthing who had already helped her through three miscarriages, as well as the birth of her daughter Anabelle.
But nothing had prepared her for the news she received on the day before Christmas Eve 2011 when she discovered she was carrying a terrific trio of boys.
“I was brought in for another scan,” said Helen, “and there was silence and I was really worried. Then they said there were three significant heartbeats – you’re actually having triplets!
“I just couldn’t believe it at first but I knew I wanted to have them at Worthing because it would make our journey complete. We knew everyone and they knew us and the quality of support we received was just immeasurable.”
More than three years later Helen and Phil returned with their family to celebrate the boys’ third birthday with the team that meant so much to them.
“I want to say ‘thank you’,” said Helen, “but words aren’t good enough really. I want them to see that the only reason they are here today is because of the priceless support we received from the team at Worthing Hospital.”
Reuben was the first to be born by caesarean section, weighing 4lbs, followed within two minutes by his twin Daniel, who weighed just 2lb1oz. Josiah the singleton was the last out and tipped the scale at 3lb14oz.
The trio required specialist care from the offset and at one stage soon after the birth Helen had three boys in three different hospitals.
Now aged three, they are all fit and healthy, each with their own distinct personality which Ms Mason said reflects the characteristics they showed in the womb.
She added: “Everyone was so excited to see them – it really is something quite special to care for them and to see them coming back is just amazing.
“I think people maybe don’t realise quite how involved with these families we become, there is a very strong bond between us.”
Dad Phil said: “To come back and see everyone is just lovely and I would like to thank everyone again for all the support and encouragement we received and for being such a wonderful team.”
Worthing Hospital, managed by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is one of the few hospitals on the South East Coast to have a dedicated Multiple Birth Midwife and Clinic running for pregnant women and their families.