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Case study: “If we can prevent just one family going through the upset and the worry that we did, it will be well worth it.” - Sophie’s Story

After her first child was hospitalised with RSV, mum-of-two Sophie is keen to help improve things for future parents.

The HARMONIE study is running at a number of locations in Yorkshire and Humber to investigate  whether it’s possible to reduce the chance of babies becoming seriously unwell with respiratory syncytial virus.

Commonly known as RSV, the virus causes cold-like symptoms in older children and adults, but can cause inflammation in the lower airways (bronchiolitis) in babies, which makes them short of breath. They can also have difficulties feeding and develop a rattly cough and /or wheezing.

Mum-of-two Sophie enrolled her son Oscar in the study in Hull, after her first child experienced RSV shortly after being born.

In 2019, Sophie’s daughter Harriet was born at just 24 weeks and spent her first three months in hospital under the care of the neonatal team.

Baby Harriet then enjoyed a month at home with her family before being hospitalised again for a week after contracting RSV which led to bronchiolitis.

“Harriet spent her first few months in the neonatal care unit. It was such a relief to finally get her home after all that time, so then to have her hospitalised again because of RSV a month later was just awful.”

Now Sophie is keen for Harriet’s new baby brother Oscar, aged 10 weeks, to take part in the HARMONIE study in order to prevent other families going through the experience that her family shared.

“When I heard about the HARMONIE study after having Oscar, I was keen to be involved. The requirements of the study are pretty straightforward and involve keeping an e-diary about Oscar’s health and progress, which I can do at a time to suit me, rather than having to attend clinic.

“If we can prevent just one family going through the upset and the worry that we did with Harriet, it will be well worth it.”

If you or anyone you know is interested in taking part in the study, please visit the Harmonie website and select your nearest most convenient location to attend the Harmonie clinic: