After a difficult birth, Archie was born with severe brain damage, causing quadriplegic cerebral palsy, epilepsy and blindness.
8 year old Archie is a funny, cheeky boy with sheer determination and a contagious smile. This is his story, told by mum, Vicky.
“After a pretty easy pregnancy I went in for an induction on 11th October 2011, as my baby decided he wanted to stay put and I was 19 days overdue.
“A day that started with excitement quickly turned when I had a trace put on and it showed my baby was becoming distressed. The next part of the day is a blur. I went suddenly from expecting to be induced, to crowds of people asking questions, checking my details and then an emergency c-section.
“I remember asking if my baby boy could be placed straight on my chest after birth, but this didn’t happen. More people rushed in and my view was blocked by the surgical screen. I was told to look to my right and my son, Archie, was whisked past me and out of the room. It wasn’t until 6 hours later that I was told he had been born flat and needed to be resuscitated. Everyone was fighting to save him.
“I was put in a wheelchair and went to say hello, and possibly goodbye."
“Archie suffered widespread, severe brain damage at birth, but he survived. As a result, he has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, epilepsy and is registered blind. He is also non-verbal, but is beginning to use basic signs to answer choice questions.
“He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Sadly, the day that brought me my amazing boy was so far from what I’d dreamt. If I’d gone to hospital even half an hour earlier, my life would be completely different now. I know how lucky I am, but the day was scary and confusing, and that’s hard to block out. His birthdays have always been tricky for me – I spent his first five birthdays looking back.
“Last year and this year, I booked the week of his birthday at Naomi House. The week was filled with fun activities, swimming, sensory room sessions, music sessions and playing in the garden. We got to have non-stop fun together while the amazing care staff and nurses took care of all of Archie’s medical needs.
"I didn’t have to worry about anything, even all of my meals were made for me and they were delicious! At night, with Archie safely tucked up in his bed, I got to stay in the parent accommodation and get a full night’s sleep!
“Thanks to Naomi House, I was too busy to look back at Archie’s original birthday. We got to enjoy his special day and celebrate, just as we should."
“His favourite activity at Naomi House has to be swimming. He’s my little merman and would live in the pool if he could! He swims independently with just the aid of a rubber ring to stop him going underwater. He seems to believe he can breathe underwater!
“Archie is the funniest person I know. He’s extremely clever and clearly understands more than he can currently express. He’s very cheeky and laughs at his own cheekiness. He’s very determined and tries so hard at everything he wants to achieve. He had major hip surgery this year and last year, yet he’s already back in his walker and learning to walk again! He’s also really stubborn and won’t do anything he doesn’t want to do!”