There has been a lot of talk about whether doctors should resuscitate a baby that is born before the golden ’24 week’ threshold. One UK couple is thankful that doctors took a chance on their babies and are now able to bring their surviving daughter home.
At just 23 weeks gestation Liz Barrett welcomed twins Mollie and Fraya-Grace. Just 2 days into their care Liz and her husband were devastated to hear that they had lost their daughter Mollie. Thankfully the smaller twin Freya-Grace refused to give up the battle for survival despite only weighing 13oz at birth.
Over the next 8 months, Mollie would need nine blood transfusions, a plasma transfusion, and a heart valve operation to survive.
Mrs Barrett told The Daily Mail
‘We are so proud of her. It’s just fantastic Freya-Grace is home and putting on weight every day.
‘She already brings us so much joy and her fighting spirit has got her through.’
Throughout her journey, Liz and Jeff kept a bedside vigil – taking turns to be with their little girl.
When she was born Mollie fit easily into Liz’s hand and her skin was so translucent some of her veins were visible.
Liz recalled the news about Mollie saying,
‘At first, we were shocked that Freya had survived – she was the smallest of the two girls.
‘We thought the doctors had made a mistake – we thought Mollie was going to live.
‘When I saw Freya, she reminded me of cooked chicken. She was so small. Her skin was shiny, you could almost see straight through her.
‘She didn’t look like a normal baby should. It was horrible to see her hooked up to all these wires. I wanted to hold her but she was too fragile to touch.’
Now, the new mom wants those who are opposed to resuscitating babies at 23 weeks to see her daughter and how far she has come.
Dr Daphne Austin, of the West Midlands Specialised Commissioning Team, told a BBC documentary that resuscitating ’23-weekers’ was doing more harm than good.
Liz, who became pregnant through IVF treatment, said:
‘I was infuriated by her comments.
‘I would like to meet Mrs Austin, ask her to look into Freya-Grace’s eyes then ask whether she thinks treating 23-week babies is a waste of money.’
Freya-Grace weighs in at 9lbs now and she is hitting her milestones like many babies her age.
Liz said: ‘She’s a determined little girl. She’s already pulling herself up and arching her back. She’s so strong.
‘Every milestone that Freya reaches is that little bit happier, I’m just so grateful she’s still here.’
Freya-Grace was released home last week with an oxygen supply to help strengthen her lungs.
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