A Ripley mum has thanked the neo-natal unit that saved her daughter’s life - as she looks forward to baby Ebony’s first Christmas without the need for an oxygen tank.
When Heidi Livesey, 35, gave birth to Ebony, she was only 26 weeks through her nine month pregnancy term.
She had suffered from HELLP syndrome, a dangerous but rare blood clotting condition caused in pregnancy.
Thanks to the staff at Royal Derby Hospital, Ebony was born on February 26, 2012, weighing just 1.1lbs .
But now - after 119 days in an incubator and 18 months needing regular oxygen from a tank at home,the tiny tot is coming out of the woods.
Ambulance crew member-by-day Heidi, formerly of Belton Drive, said: “She’s a little miracle - even if she does wake us up at 4am some mornings! We are very lucky that she made it through and we ended up with a very, very special baby.”
Heidi and her partner, Ebony’s dad, Craig Stinson, who currently live in Cromford Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, were due to decorate their Christmas tree with Ebony, now 21 months old, at the weekend.
The tot’s remarkable road to recovery has been fraught with danger and serious ilness, due to the prematurity of her birth.
When just a week old, she was struck by an infection which nearly killed her. It took doctors 15 attempts to give her antibiotics.
And when she was finally allowed home, within a few days she developed black shadows under her eyes and needed an emergency blood transfusion as her body had stopped making red cells.
Both times she pulled through and until now has been helped to breath with an oxygen machine.
Now the family are looking forward to a Christmas free of drama.
“It will be the first time she sees a tree properly,” Heidi said. “The first time she sees wrapping paper and does all the things normal babies would do - I can’t wait!”
To say thanks to the doctors and nurses of the neo-natal ward, Heidi and Craig have completed several fundraising as well as for the charity Tommys, which funds research into still birth, miscarriages and provides support to parents-to-be.
Craig took part in this year’s 13.1 mile Great North Run in the North east - and in April plans to run the London Marathon dressed as ‘baby’ in support of the charity.
The dad, 37, and an electrical engineer by trade, says he feels blessed to be preparing for the family’s first festive season together.
When Heidi was first taken into hospital he was told by doctors there was a good chance both could die. The only way to reverse the symptoms of HELLP Syndrtome would be to give birth at that stage, he was told.
“On the day they rushed Heidi to hospital,” he said. “I couldn’t go in, I had to wait outside.
“It felt like a lifetime, but that hour changed my perspective on life.
“Now it is fantastic, every time I get up and go to work I’m so grateful.”
To find out more about the charity Tommys head to www.tommys.org.