top of page
Colleen ward 2.jpg

Colleen Ward

Parent Volunteer

Niamh's Story

Niamh was born full term on 26th November 2016, she was healthy and thriving and a very content little baby girl.

On 26th December 2016 at one month old Niamh began bleeding and having loose bowel motions at that point there were no other symptoms. We brought her to the local emergency department at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children she was assessed and they sent her home assuming she had a milk allergy, however a few hours later Niamh became very unwell and was rushed back to the emergency department where she was diagnosed with having sepsis caused by Necrotising Enterocolitis.

She was brought to PICU and her bowel was tested on day 7 she had to be placed on a ventilator as the painkillers were so strong they affected her breathing. We still thought we were winning this battle and as she had made it to day 7 of resting the idea she may need surgery had left our mind however on 2nd January the surgeon's felt they couldn't leave it any longer and they took Niamh for emergency surgery.

This was one of the most difficult days as parents we've ever faced watching our baby girl being taken away and not knowing if we would see her again. Fortunately, the surgery was a success 28 cm of small intestine was removed and Niamh had an ileostomy they were hopeful for the first time she would have a recovery.  She continued to do well however her stoma wasn't working the way it should so after 3 months they decided to do a reversal, following her reversal Niamh thrived, gained weight and they finally they discharged her from hospital after 3 months.

She is now 2 and a half, she's very funny and always up to mischief she is due to start nursery school this year, although she has a speech delay, we are fortunate that at this time she has no other lasting effects from NEC.


I found NEC UK when Niamh was in her second month in hospital and was so thankful to have other people to talk to who had been in a similar situation, I felt I needed to do more and wanted to get involved to help the fight against NEC.

x Colleen x

bottom of page