A BABY girl who was born almost 17 weeks early, and weighed less that a bag of rice, finally makes it home – four months after being born during lockdown.
Tiffany Bushell, 32, and husband Matthew, 30, from Watford, Hertfordshire, feared their daughter Millie wouldn’t survive as she spent the first five weeks of her life on a ventilator at St. Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, Surrey.
The tot weighed just 1lb 7 at birth and had a massive hole in her heart – and stopped breathing at just two days old,
But the plucky new-born defied all odds to survive and her parents are now celebrating after doctors finally allowed them to bring her home last week.
Tiffany, an embroiderer, said: “She’s a miracle. Now she’s here, it’s such a weight off our shoulders.
“Were so relieved that she is at home and it makes us realise how far she has come.”
Matthew, a lorry driver, added: “We’re over the moon that she’s back. It’s like being on Cloud nine.
“We’re fulfilled – we’ve been waiting for this moment for so long.”
Due to lockdown restrictions, Matthew was only able to see his new daughter for ten minutes before having to leave the hospital.
For the first week, he could only see Millie via video call, while mum Tiffany was restricted to visiting her for two hours per day, and could only hold her new-born daughter while wearing gloves.
The tot also fought off seven infections, including suspected sepsis, and recovered from surgery to fix the hole in her heart before doctors deemed her fit enough to return home.
The experience was doubly stressful for Matthew and Tiffany tragically lost their first daughter, Ruby, after she was born at just 24 weeks and 3 days old in 2018.
Matthew said: “We had Ruby for a week and then she passed away.
“It was the worst day of my life. It was really dark. We are in a much better place now.
“I want to thank all the hospital staff for doing their best. We’re just so thankful to be finally back at home all together, safe.”
The newly reunited family intend to spend the coming weeks getting some well-earned rest and introducing their new daughter to relatives – who weren’t allowed to visit Millie while she was in hospital.
Tiffany said: “It’s nice that a few friends and family have finally been able to see her.
“I’m so happy she is back. It was emotionally draining having to leave her.
“I just want to spend lots of time in the house with her.”
In other birth-related stories, a woman tells ‘Coronavirus masked my newborn son’s deadly heart defect’ and he needed open heart surgery at 4 weeks old.
Plus a heartbroken mum who delivered a stillborn baby released poignant photographs of him – and told how it has helped her heal.
Meanwhile, one woman told how distressing it was to deliver her child, knowing he had died in her womb.