Corrine Dacosta – Neonatal Sister
MUM to Thaila Dymond, Corrine Dacosta (28) is a Neonatal Sister for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust. She arrived in her current role through a life-changing experience when at only 27 weeks pregnant she delivered her daughter and embarked upon a marathon six months as Thaila was cared for in the neonatal unit.
She explained: “At that time I was working in the operating theatres as a theatre nurse, and having my daughter so prematurely was a frightening experience. It was a long rocky road as she was ventilated for ten weeks, and had CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure – used to keep airways open) for eight weeks. We left the unit on oxygen after six months. I went back to theatres after my maternity leave but my heart wasn’t there anymore. I kept in contact with a few of the neonatal nurses who had cared for my daughter and we’d started a parent support group. After much consideration I made the decision to move to neonates. I knew it’d make me or break me, but thankfully I’ve found my niche, and haven’t looked back. My job is my life, and I like to think I carry out my daily duties with pride helping parents through what can be a very difficult time.
Thaila is now six years old and for the last three years I have worked in the neonatal unit. I absolutely love my job and have been in the NHS for seven years. For me there is no career I can think of that tops what I do today. It was a career highlight for me to obtain a first in my nursing degree and then go on to pass the neonatal intensive care course, and recently I was promoted to sister, so I’m really concentrating on that now.
“I work with a very committed team and meet a wide variety of parents with whom I can connect, as I have been exactly where they are, worrying about their tiny baby and trusting in the staff looking after them.
“There is no typical shift at work, as one day I could be giving one to one care to a critically ill baby and the next supporting parents to provide care for their baby after their baby is discharged.
“I remember attending the delivery of a baby born at 24 weeks, and growing attached to the baby and family. It was a very emotional moment to see them back at our parent support group.”
In her spare time Corrine enjoys keeping fit and spending quality time with her own family. She enjoys study, and is the developmental care lead for neonatal. She loves the opportunity to continually update her skills and the fact that her role gives her the opportunity to learn. In the future she would like to be an advanced neonatal nurse or matron.
Corrine says her own hero is her daughter: “After everything we have been through, she is my best friend and has taught me that life is not to be taken for granted. She is an amazing little girl, no matter what she is going through she always has a smile on her face.”