Layton passed away in his daddy's arms... but his suffering is over and he is at peace

Publication Date03 November 2021
Publication titleAirdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Klaudia and Lennox Francis's baby, Layton, came into the world with a mop of raven hair on August 15, weighing just 1lb 11oz.

While her first-born lay in an incubator in University Hospital Wishaw, Klaudia - who went into labour after 25 weeks and two days - spoke to the Advertiser in September to help highlight Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness Month and the outstanding work of doctors and nurses who were caring for Layton within the specialist unit.

Although in early October little Layton had been vomiting and his heart rate had dropped, tests had ruled out necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) - a serious illness affecting premature babies in which tissues in the intestine become inflamed and start to die.

On October 3, as they were paying their daily hospital visit, doctors told the couple they were pleased with Layton's progress.

"His breathing was going well. We fed him and did what we did every single day and he looked nice and peaceful," said Klaudia.

But the following morning, Klaudia received a call from the hospital to report that Layton's monitor had been going of f since 4am, he was not doing so well, and she ought to come.

"Just before I arrived, they decided to put him on a ventilator, which to me was not a huge concern. I knew there was probably another infection, and he was going to be okay," she said.

"But when I saw him, my goodness, I knew this was serious. His belly was so swollen it looked like it was about to pop. He was on the ventilator, just lying there. He did not look the way a child should look. They had to shave his hair to put a cannula in the side of his head. Doctors were so limited because of the size of him. I called my husband to say the situation is not the best."

A scan confirmed their worst fears: Layton had NEC, which can lead to a perforation that allows the contents of the intestine to leak into the abdomen, causing a dangerous infection.

Layton's condition deteriorated rapidly and doctors advised that if he had any chance of survival, he would have to be transferred to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.

"Whatever was needed, we were happy to go with it," said student nurse Klaudia, 22.

Paramedics arrived from Edinburgh in a specialist ambulance for the transportation of premature babies.

""he two ladies were lovely. They told us he was not in good shape and they didn't know if he was even going to make it," she continued.

"We didn't know whether we should stay in Wishaw with him or risk taking him through to...

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