Parents praise medics for saving their baby

Tracey GrayWhen she was born, she weighed less than a pint of milk and faced a battle against the odds to survive.Tracey Gray

When she was born, she weighed less than a pint of milk and faced a battle against the odds to survive.

Louise Davies gave birth prematurely at 26 weeks and baby Lily-Rose, weighing just 14oz, developed a life-threatening illness, which saw her lose all the toes on her right foot.

Louise and her husband Danny have said without the support and help of the neo-natal unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, they are sure Lily-Rose would not have survived.

It was at Mrs Davies's first scan, when she was 20 weeks pregnant, that doctors noticed Lily-Rose was not developing as she should be and was two weeks behind in her growth rate.

The doctors believed the cause could be the condition pre-eclampsia, which Mrs Davies had suffered with when she had her first daughter, Matilda, six.

Mrs Davies, 29, said: 'When the doctors said it could be pre-eclampsia, it really panicked me as it was a repeat of my first pregnancy. I had suffered with pre-eclampsia then, but not until I was 26 weeks, when my first daughter had been born and weighed just over 1lb, so I was really worried how this baby would survive at only 20 weeks. My whole world just seemed to crash around me.'

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From that moment on, the family, from Old Rectory Road in Brunstead, near Stalham, had weekly scans, which then became daily ones as it became clear the placenta, meant to be feeding Lily-Rose, was not working.

Mrs Davies was taken into hospital on June 24, where she was strapped to a machine for constant monitoring. On June 26, doctors performed an emergency caesarean, fearful the baby would not survive much longer in the womb.

Mrs Davies said: 'We were prepared for how small the baby would be, because my first daughter had weighed 1lb 7oz, but it was still a shock seeing Lily-Rose.

'But after she was born, she seemed to be doing brilliantly for the first few weeks. Everyone was really shocked at how she was progressing.'

But on July 10, at just two-weeks-old, Lily-Rose contracted an infection in her belly button, which resulted in her blood becoming septic. Her condition became so bad she was put on a life-support machine.

Mrs Davies said: 'We were keeping a vigil by her bedside, hoping she would pull through. As a result of the septicaemia, Lily-Rose lost all the toes on her right foot and, at one point, doctors thought she may have had to lose her whole foot.'

Lily-Rose pulled through, but has been left with brain damage on her right side. As yet, doctors are not certain how bad it may be, but it is thought some of her muscles may not work properly and she could have a little bit of cerebral palsy.

Mrs Davies said: 'She is now 5lbs and really bright and alert. She has oxygen at home, but only low levels and sees a consultant every other week. We are just so glad she is with us.

'We have to thank the neo-natal unit for all they have done for our family and for both our girls.'