Chris Hoy’s wife recalls terror of premature birth

Sarra with her son Callum. Picture: submitted

Sarra with her son Callum. Picture: submitted

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  • Call for Edinburgh landmarks to turn purple to raise awareness
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CHRIS Hoy’s wife has opened her heart about the terror of not knowing whether their premature baby son would be okay.

The cycling champion and Sarra were shocked last year when their son Calum was born 11 weeks early and spent his first two months in hospital.

Callum Hoy in an incubator shortly after his birth. Picture: submitted

Callum Hoy in an incubator shortly after his birth. Picture: submitted

Sarra, a lawyer, said she and Chris were among the lucky ones as their son is now “doing brilliantly”.

But she recalled how she was terrified as their baby was “attached to wires, in a box”.

She also spoke of the “grief” she experienced after her pregnancy was interrupted before she was physically and mentally prepared for the birth.

Sarra has now launched a campaign for well-known landmarks in Edinburgh and beyond to turn purple as part of an international campaign to raise awareness of World prematurity Day, on Tuesday.

“I found it just absolutely terrifying because they couldn’t say ‘we think he’s okay’

Sarra Hoy

Edinburgh Airport and the Balmoral Hotel will be illuminated in purple to mark the day.

Sarra said: “Last year we got quite a fright when we were told that Calum had to be delivered at 29 weeks, which is 11 weeks early.

“Since then we’ve just been thrown in to a world of hospitals and medical treatment.

“We’ve learned the ins and outs of lots of parts of medicine that we had no idea of previously.

Sir Chris Hoy and wife Sarra. Picture TSPL

Sir Chris Hoy and wife Sarra. Picture TSPL

“Since then we’ve learned that a lot of people go through this – 60,000 babies in the UK are born premature each year.

“That’s 60,000 families that requite the help and support of the medical profession and doctors and nurses, to hopefully bring these babies home. Sadly not all babies are able to come home, and not all of them make it.

“It’s become a cause that’s really close to my heart.”

Sarra said that she and Chris were “very lucky” as Calum, now one, is healthy and currently learning to say “dada”.

She praised “amazing” hospital staff, but revealed there was a period of uncertainty which she found terrifying and overwhelming.

She said: “Calum spent two months in hospital. We were very lucky in that respect. The hospital staff were utterly amazing but what is quite terrifying is they don’t know.

“When they bring out a baby whether it’s through labour or through a c-section, which is what I had, they can’t make any promises.

“It’s a very unknown situation. What you are told is it’s a rollercoaster – there will be ups and there will be downs.

“I found it just absolutely terrifying because they couldn’t say ‘we think he’s okay’.

“They knew he wasn’t in immediate distress, but you just have to be ready to adapt and respond to any of the challenges that you are faced with.”

World Prematurity Day is marked in several countries across the world – with the Empire State Building in New York among the famous buildings that have been lit purple in the past.

SEE ALSO: Chris Hoy’s joy at holding baby son for first time


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