By Cara Simpson
22 May 2013
The mum of a 15-week-old Coventry baby who desperately needs a new heart has spoken of her anguish.
Lois Tasker has returned home to Coventry for a short reprieve from baby Oscar’s hospital bedside in Newcastle to see the rest of her family.
Tiny Oscar is being kept alive by a machine at Freeman Hospital.
The specialist equipment is doing the work of his heart while he waits for a life-saving organ transplant, as the Telegraph reported on Saturday.
Lois must spend most of her time 200 miles apart from husband Jason and their five other children to be close to Oscar as he fights for life.
She faces a seven-hour coach journey to return to the hospital later this week.
Although Oscar is stable for now, she says his life is at risk each day he is on the machine.
The 28-year-old said: “He’s at risk of blood clots and a stroke if a blood clot reaches his brain, and I’ve lost count of the number of blood transfusions he’s had. It’s not great. He can’t stay on the machine forever.”
Oscar was born at Coventry’s University Hospital in January with a condition which meant the main arteries to his heart were the wrong way around.
His little body was starved of oxygen and he was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for two life-saving operations in the space of 24 hours.
Sadly the left side of Oscar’s heart began to fail and medics were preparing to switch off his life support machine before the opportunity to send him to Newcastle for specialist treatment came up.
Oscar was immediately placed on the organ transplant list when he arrived.
Speaking of her agonising wait for a donor heart, Lois said: “There’s nothing I or the surgeons can do.
“All we can do is wait for a donor heart even though I know it’s going to be really hard for a family to make that decision, after being so close to losing Oscar.
“But we’ve been told by the transplant team if a tragedy happens it will happen regardless.”
Lois and Jason were only able to hold Oscar for the first time when he was 14 weeks old.
She said: “I feel empty while I’m away from the rest of the family but when I’m with Oscar in Newcastle I try to do what I can, bring him blankets, change his nappy, help change his babygro, all the little things that as a mum you take for granted.”
The family has launched a social media appeal to encourage more people to sign up to the national Organ Donor Register.
The #savebabyoscar hashtag was viewed and retweeted 50,000 times within five days of its launch on Twitter.