A miracle Burnley baby has learned to smile, five months after she was born 16 weeks premature weighing less than a bag of sugar.
Battler Isabella Turner, one of the smallest babies born in East Lancashire, was delivered at Burnley General Hospital on July 30th last year, four months before her November 18th due date.
Mum Adele Morrell (18) went into labour early and contracted an infection which meant doctors had to deliver Isabella to save both their lives.
Weighing just 1lb. 6oz. she was whisked to the neo natal intensive care unit at the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre.
The little girl was given two blood transfusions within the first 48 hours of her life and Adele and her boyfriend Lewis Turner (19) were told to take photographs of their daughter because her odds of survival were slim. She spent 18 weeks in NICU, some of that on a ventilator because she was unable to breathe on her own and Adele said it was “touch and go.”
But months later baby Isabella is thriving. She weighs 10lb. 1oz. and has smiled at her parents for the first time.
She still needs oxygen because she has chronic lung disease and is visited by a community nurse each week but is feeding well and is continuing to put on weight.
“After she was born they told us to take pictures because it was looking like she wasn’t going to live. It was horrible,” said Adele, a former Wellfield Church School pupil who studied at Burnley College.
“The last few months have been hard but there’s not much you can do about it. When it happens you just have to get on with it.”
Adele credits the dedicated staff at NICU for saving her daughter’s life and is planning a fund-raising event for the unit at the Burnley League Club in April.
“I am so grateful to the staff at NICU, they were so good to us and explained everything that was happening.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to them, without them she wouldn’t be here.
“They said if she’d been born before 24 weeks and didn’t take a breath on her own, they wouldn’t have been able to help her.
“At first it really was touch and go, she wasn’t putting any weight on.
“Now she’s doing so well, she’s a right little fatty.”
Adele has already received raffle prizes for the fund-raiser from local businesses and is appealing for more offers of help.
Anyone who wants to make a donation can contact Adele on 07966282503.