14 January 2023

Skydiving for the maternity theatres

Rossana works at the Princess Anne maternity hospital theatres team in Southampton. Over the last 10 years, she has needed emergency surgery and medical care for all three of her children.

Without their skill and dedication, they might not be here today. This is why in March, Rossana will be taking on a 15,000 foot skydive for Southampton Hospitals Charity.

“I started working for University Hospital Southampton in July 2022, doing administration for the theatres team at Princess Anne Hospital.

We have around 70 staff to cover the four theatres. This can cover births, gynaecology, gynae-oncology, obstetrics, and breast.

Every day I work with these amazing teams in the hospital who are literally lifesavers on a daily basis.

My eldest son, Gabriel, was born in June 2012 at Princess Anne Hospital. The pregnancy progressed well, and it started as a normal birth.

12 hours later, I was losing a lot of blood so was rushed to theatres to remove pieces of placenta.

When I recovered, they told me that Gabriel had been taken immediately to the neonatal intensive care unit for specialist care.

He was born yellow due to jaundice as it turned out my blood was incompatible with his, and he was given phototherapy to improve his condition.

I was in tears. I had never heard of Jaundice ABO-incompatibility before. This happens when they cut the cord and there is a contact between the mother and baby’s blood.

Gabriel’s bilirubin levels in his blood were very high, but thankfully, he didn’t end up needing a blood exchange even though it was close to that need of it.

The ladies on Bramshaw ward where I was recovering were great and would take me down in a wheelchair to the neonatal unit to visit my son. After seven days, we were discharged.

Then in 2014 came Sara.

She was born jaundice and ABO blood-incompatible and spent seven days in the neonatal unit after phototherapy treatment for the jaundice.

While I lost a lot of blood giving birth to Sara, thankfully I didn’t end up needing surgery.

Fast-forward two and half years, and in August 2017, Samuel was born.

Unbelievably, my third child was also born jaundice and ABO blood-incompatible, thankfully being discharged after only six days.

It breaks your heart, seeing not just your baby, but those families around you going through the worst times of their lives and with such a mixture of emotions.

For me thankfully I could start holding my babies almost immediately, to give my babies milk, to feed and change them. Even with the light blanket on my lap. We had so many firsts on the unit!

All of the staff, from the labour ward and theatres to the neonatal unit, they all were wonderful. As a patient, it was such a stressful moment going to theatres. I remember they kept talking to me, and they were the ones that stopped my bleeding, and would have dealt with any other complications if they had arising.

There is so much work that goes on behind the curtains. The things that no one sees no one thinks as you are asleep. The stress they go through to make sure you are safe.

That is why I am fundraising to support the amazing theatres and day surgery & recovery teams through a charity skydive in March from 15,000 feet.

I am really not good with heights, but there comes a time in your life where you need to start ticking things off your bucket list!

This was one of those moments, which is why I signed up with Southampton Hospitals Charity.

Support Rossana’s skydive today: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rossana-soaresserrao

Skydive for the NHS

Skydiving is, without doubt, one of the most thrilling activities you can ever take part in!

Make 2023 the year to conquer your fears and take on a skydive from either 10,000 or 15,000 feet.

Find out more here

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