Antrim mum in tribute to doctor who saved her life and delivered baby
A Co Antrim mother says she owes her life to the doctors and nurses at her local hospital after taking seriously ill following the birth of her daughter last month.
Julie-Mae Allison (33) suffered serious complications after her second child Amelia Rosemary was born by emergency caesarean section at Antrim Area Hospital on July 28, weighing 8lb 1oz.
Within a few days of going home from hospital, Julie-Mae was back in theatre having life-saving surgery after developing a severe septic wound infection.
That was carried out by Dr Donald Chandranath who also brought Amelia into the world.
Julie-Mae told the Belfast Telegraph: "During labour I developed various complications and the baby was distressed so I ended up having a C-section which Donald did.
"After I got home from hospital I still wasn't feeling great and was quite sore. I kept losing my balance and had a high temperature."
Julie-Mae's GP suspected an infection and sent her back to hospital where doctors believed she had cellulitis - a potentially serious infection.
"I was put on various IV fluids but nothing seemed to be working and I actually got worse," she said. "I was taken into theatre several times."
Three emergency operations later and Julie-Mae was finally allowed home to Randalstown to join her family, which also includes her daughter Alisha (8), partner Barry and his nine-year-old son, Charlie.
While Julie-Mae still has a long road to recovery and many more hospital visits ahead, Barry says she is "a fighter" and that the experience has taught him to "never take life for granted".
Barry says he will be forever grateful to Dr Donald and his team for saving Julie-Mae's life and making a "horrific and traumatic experience a lot more bearable".
"The medics don't get half the credit they deserve when they go above and beyond. I don't believe that she would be here today without them," he said.
"Dr Donald was the surgeon that brought my daughter into this world and one week later saved her mother from leaving it.
"He dedicated so much of his time to us and put us at ease the whole time. Even after his shift was over or before it began, he was popping in to check on Julie-Mae and reassuring us."
Julie-Mae added: "Donald really is a credit to his profession. There is a saying that not all heroes wear capes and he is definitely one of them."
Barry posted a photograph of baby Amelia with Dr Donald on social media to thank him for his hard work. The post generated a huge response from his former patients, who were full of praise for his dedication to the job.
But Dr Donald (41), who is married to Emma and has two sons Alfred (10) and seven-year-old Issac, says he was simply doing his job.
"Whenever someone comes in to have a baby you want them to have a pleasant experience, keep them as comfortable as possible and well-informed about what is happening. It's very humbling but this is a team effort and we couldn't do what we do without each other," he said.
Donald previously worked at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, where he met fellow doctor Emma before moving to Antrim four years ago.
He says he is hugely moved by the response to Barry's social media post: "It was quite overwhelming to read comments from parents of babies I delivered seven years ago and still remembered me.
"My wife and I got quite emotional about it. It was very humbling and gives everyone in the hospital a great morale boost."