When Kimberley Melvin, 25, gave birth to baby daughter Freya-Rose 15 weeks premature, it was touch and go whether she’d make it.
Not only did Freya-Rose pull through, though, she’s now getting to leave hospital for her first Christmas at home in Greenock, Scotland.
New mum Kimberley and partner James Gallacher, 26, have been visiting their daughter at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow, after she was born there in July this year.
Arriving 15 weeks early, Freya-Rose weighed just 730g a birth – just as much as a bag of chips – and was given a 30% chance of survival.
Classed as ‘extremely pre term’, babies born before 28 weeks have a higher risk of health complications and need extra care from healthcare staff as they grow.
And although Freya-Rose has a chronic lung condition that’ll need ongoing monitoring, that care meant she’s been allowed home for Christmas with her parents, weighing in at a healthy 6lbs 5oz.
First-time parents Kimberley and James didn’t initially think they’d be able to conceive, as Kimberley has polycystic ovary syndrome.She only learned she was pregnant four weeks in, after being admitted to hospital for treatment to a cyst.
Kimberley said: ‘I went for an ultrasound for the purpose of getting a cyst removed and I discovered there was a baby in there – four weeks into the pregnancy.
‘We were overjoyed by the news.’
Things took a turn for the worse when Kimberley began bleeding unexpectedly. Fearing she was having a miscarriage she was rushed to hospital, going into a two hour labour and delivering the tiny baby girl.
What followed was a series of diagnoses for Freya-Rose, and what Kimberley called ‘four months in hospital and a lot of setbacks.’
The mum added: ‘We were going every day to see her, it’s not been easy, especially leaving the hospital. It’s horrible.’
Despite going through every parent’s worst nightmare, the couple are now looking forward to settling into family life.
Kimberley, who brought Freya home last week, said: ‘She’s just like a newborn baby. It was the best Christmas present when she came home.’
The parents – who have both been working full-time throughout the ordeal – are also fundraising for the NHS staff that helped them in an effort to give back.
James, who works in the construction industry, said doctors saved Freya-Rose’s life without batting an eyelid and said the NHS is massively underfunded.
Speaking of his gratitude at the medics who saved his baby’s life, James said: ‘The doctors and nurses were outstanding.
‘They save a life and then they crack on like it’s nothing. To us, they’ve saved our wean’s life.
‘There’s no recognition and they do need to have enough equipment in there. The NHS should be better funded especially neonatal units.
‘It’s inspiring, we were in there for more than 125 days, it’s a long time to be stuck in there full time.
‘It’s been a long, long journey.’
To donate, visit the couple’s Just Giving page.
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