Breath of life for Bundy babies

Steven and Kate Scholl with Caleb and Nathan who were born prematurely.
Steven and Kate Scholl with Caleb and Nathan who were born prematurely. Mike Knott

FOR four terrifying hours, Kate Scholl watched her newborn twins being hand-ventilated as a team of doctors and nurses fought to keep them alive.

The Biggenden woman had given birth 15 weeks early, meaning a slight slip of the hand could under- or over-inflate the tiny babies' lungs.

But thanks to money raised by the Moore Park Beach Truck Ride for Kids, no mothers in the Bundaberg region will have to suffer the same wait.

The Bundaberg Hospital Services Foundation has bought a neopuff resuscitator, which allows medical staff to pump oxygen into newborns' lungs at a controlled rate.

“The first time I was called and told they had purchased this equipment, I got off the phone, sat down and bawled,” Mrs Scholl said.

The ordeal with twins Nathan and Caleb, now almost 10 months old, remains fresh in Mrs Scholl's mind and she hoped no other parents would go through what she did.

Mrs Scholl had taken herself to Biggenden Hospital in November last year after feeling strange pains.

A misdiagnosis meant it was too late to move her to Bundaberg Hospital and, instead, a medical team from the centre was sent to her.

After a frightening few hours, the twins were finally stable enough to be transferred to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

“Their heads were about the size of an apple, their feet the size of my thumb,” Mrs Scholl said.

Starting at just 693g and 892g, the twins spent 138 days in hospital slowly growing stronger. The twins have now recovered with a complete bill of health.

As well as the resuscitator, the $7000 donation meant the foundation was also able to buy a phototherapy unit, which allows a mother to cuddle and breastfeed her baby while they receive treatment for jaundice.

The Moore Park Beach Lions and the Bargara Lions and Lionesses are already planning next April's Truck Ride for Kids to raise money for the foundation and the Mater Hospital's Children's Ward.

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