Posted on October 11, 2009 · Posted in Personal

Today Samuel finally met the criteria to come home from the Neonatal ICU. All he had to do was demonstrate that he would be able to continue to grow in our care.

During his 9-day stay he was progressively required to do more and more on his own as his breathing apparatus, heater, drip and then feeding tube were removed. He ripped his feeding tube out himself which was great to see. For his last 24 hours in he had to breast feed (only) and still gain weight. Which he did, a whopping 30g, so he left hospital today weighing in at 2570g. His birth weight was 2645g and, for those interested in the statistics, his length was 48cm and his head circumference was 32,5cm and he was at 37 weeks.

The thing people are most interested in are photographs so here are the snaps we took today:

He was born at Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic and our experience was great (all things considered). The NICU staff were incredibly helpful, supportive and, although I cannot judge their expertise, they inspired confidence that he was being properly taken care of and he improved steadily. When making judgements about such things it is probably more important to know how things are handled when they go wrong rather than when everything is going according to plan. In our case, any sort of plan went out the window pretty quickly and things were handled quickly and efficiently, yet with empathy.

About the Author

Mark Horner is the CEO of Siyavula Education, a social enterprise working in the school sector in South Africa. While working as the Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow for Open and Collaborative Resources, Mark was able to transform the Free High School Science Texts (FHSST) project, which he co-founded, into Siyavula Education. In this process, openly-licensed, collaboratively authored textbooks have been printed and distributed nationally in South Africa. Working at the intersection of community, openness and technology; Mark intends to leverage this success to make Siyavula an innovative, technology provider in education that works effectively as part of the education community to ensure better learning opportunities for all. A recent notable event being the delivery of Siyavula's textbooks over Mxit, the most popular mobile chat solution in South Africa. Mark has a PhD in physics from the University of Cape Town and conducted his research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California on the results from the STAR experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. His work is carried out in the belief that the liberation of information and support of education in South Africa will lead to a peaceful and prosperous future for all South Africans.