Michaela's Story

My mother gave birth to me via C section, due to the fact I stopped growing and she had a kidney transplant just over a year before giving birth. I weighed 3lbs 3, and developed NEC. I had a temporary ileostomy, which was reversed, but unfortunately 1 of the 3 scars burst open which lead to more surgery. Fully recovered I got pneumonia at the age of 5. I found out I have an aberrant right subclavian artery, which causes me issues.

The reason I got into medicine was because my mother had kidney transplant and other issues, so I wanted to go into healthcare. I'm now 23 and work in cardiothoracic surgery as an operating department practitioner. Before working in cardiac, I worked mainly in colorectal and upper GI theatres. Here of course, I came across many patients worrying about their stoma reversal surgery. It was amazing to say to them that I myself have had it and I am perfectly fine. I had to have surgery to loosen some internal scaring but that's just about it.

I work for the NHS trust that saved my life. Back 20 odd years ago, no one wanted to touch a 3lb baby. I am privileged to be part of a team that can prolong life, or make life that little bit more easier. I understand there are those who don't survive NEC, but I just wanted to share my story to remind people there is still hope and that they are not alone. xx