Baby Michael Mac Hugh from Derry/L’derry shocked his mum Sara & dad Conall by arriving 15 weeks early.
Mum Sara explains ‘ Our son Michael Douglas Mac Hugh was born on 16th January 2020 at 25 weeks +3 days gestation, 15 weeks early, weighing just 1lb 11oz, he is now over 9lb at 21 weeks old. His due date was 27th of April 2020. Michael was born in Altnagelvin at 1.45am and transferred to The Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast at 3pm that same day. He spent 5 and a half weeks in the Royal where he received 4 of his 5 blood transfusions and spent the last 7 and a half weeks back in Altnagelvin, where he got his last blood transfusion.
Throughout his stay in both hospitals he was on ventilators, C-PAP and Duo-PAP machines to help with his breathing. Because Michael needed the help for so long with his breathing he has a diagnosis of Chronic Lung Disease which he should grow out of as he matures and his lungs grow. I had received steroid injections during a hospital stay in the days prior to Michael’s birth to help mature his lungs because I was at risk of going into pre term labour, but it looked like that risk had gone and I was discharged the morning before he was born.
During this hospital stay I was also told that a baby born at 25 weeks has a 60% survival rate, defying all the odds Michael is with us now, thankfully a happy healthy 21 week old. He is smaller than other babies his age and developmentally has some catching up to do but he is a little fighter. Not only has he had to endure blood transfusions, countless rounds of antibiotics, invasive procedures, he has also had laser eye surgery to correct ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) caused by the extra oxygen he needed for a long time. We are currently waiting on a follow up appointment to see if the surgery was successful, he is very nosey so we think it worked!
During our stay in hospital TinyLife were a huge support and continue to be there for us, by way of thanks we wanted to raise funds for the charity and so lock down presented the perfect opportunity. As lock down has rolled on Michael’s Uncle Caolan, his dads identical twin became increasingly in need of a visit to the barbers, we used this to our advantage and challenged Caolan to a head shave! Caolan’s friend Owen Brady also braved the shave. Our family and friends rallied their support and I’m delighted to say we have raised over £2,000 for for TinyLife. The donation page will stay open for another few days so anyone who would like to show their support can do so by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sara-Douglas2 ‘