Caitlan Taylor gave birth to baby Huxlee via an emergency caesarean at Grafton Base Hospital in New South Wales on August 18
A mother has opened up about her heartbreaking ordeal being separated from her newborn baby for four days because of Queensland’s border restrictions.
Caitlan Taylor gave birth to baby Huxlee via an emergency caesarean at Grafton Base Hospital in New South Wales on August 18.
She had been rushed into surgery after her doctor noticed she was tender on one side during her routine 35-week scan.
About two hours after his birth, baby Huxlee had to be transferred to Gold Coast University Hospital in Queensland as he was struggling to breathe.
There had been no room for him at the nearby John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.
Ms Taylor hadn’t been able to hold her newborn before he was transferred, as she was still recovering from surgery and had suffered heavy blood loss.
The mother-of-two battled to be with her baby, but was told she would have to quarantine for two weeks in Queensland under the state’s tough border restrictions before she could be with him.
Given her baby was starting to get better, she decided instead to spend four long days waiting until he was stable and could be transferred back to NSW.
The ordeal has left Ms Taylor feeling broken and defeated due to Queensland tough rules.
‘Hearing them say that Queensland hospitals were for Queensland people, I was just watching it crying,’ she told the Courier Mail.
‘They were so cold about it, I don’t know how they can be so heartless. It’s really scarred me, I’m traumatised by it.’
When Huxlee was being transferred to Queensland, nurses assured Ms Taylor she would be able to be with her baby the following day.
But strict COVID-19 rules meant she’d have to quarantine for two weeks.
Huxlee was close to being stable enough to be transferred back to Grafton Base Hospital, Ms Taylor said there was no point.
After an anxious wait for news of their newborn they then had to chase up the hospital’s media team to find out when their baby would be transferred back to them only to be told he was now at a completely different hospital.
‘We got a phone call and they said ”Number 16 has left our care and is now at Tweed hospital”.’
Motorists are seen approaching a checkpoint at Coolangatta on the Queensland- New South Wales border
Nurses are seen doing COVID-19 testing at a drive-thru fever clinic in Ipswich on August 24, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia
Four days after the cesarean Ms Taylor was then driven to Tweed Heads Hospital to meet her baby.
‘When I picked him up I didn’t feel anything, it was like looking at a stranger,’ she said.
The next morning an ambulance was supposed to drive the pair back to Grafton but by the time it arrived it was too late in the day to make the journey.
Ms Taylor then had to wait another day before another wardsman and a maternity nurse to drive them back to Grafton.
She said she felt mistreated by Queensland Health authorities, calling it ‘heartless’ and ‘cold’.
Chief Executive Northern NSW Local Health District Wayne Jones said Tweed Hospital was the most appropriate location for the transfer due to the restrictions.
‘At the time of the transfer back to NSW, the clinical advice was that a direct transfer to Grafton could impose a risk to the baby,’ he said.
‘A clinical decision was made to have the paediatric team at The Tweed Hospital care for the baby overnight. Following review by the paediatric team the following morning, the baby was able to be transferred back to Grafton.
‘While the border closure has created challenges for medical transfers, our staff are working tirelessly to ensure patients in Northern NSW continue to have access to the care they require.’