Baby Eve was born at just 24 weeks and received the kind of special medical care money can’t buy. Thanks to the devoted care of amazing doctors and nurses, she pulled through.
Every day she spent in her special baby care unit cost the NHS £1000 and now, in a remarkable act of generosity, grateful mum Marie is determined to pay back every single penny of it.
She’s pledged to raise an incredible £107,000 as a massive ‘thank you’ to the dedicated NHS doctors and nurses who saved her tiny baby’s life.
Marie has already started by taking part in fundraising challenges like sponsored runs and cake sales.
And tomorrow night will be her biggest so far – a fundraising evening of laughs at one of Scotland’s top comedy clubs featuring well-known stand-up stars which she hopes will become an annual event.
She will be doing it for the people who saved the life of her baby daughter Eve, who is now six and a happy and healthy pupil at Trinity Primary School. Mum Marie was warned by doctors when she gave birth to Eve 16 weeks early that she probably wouldn’t survive.
“I was asked just before she was born if I would want to hold her, because everyone was pretty convinced she would be dead,” she said.
“Eve was born with no hope at all. Everyone was sure she’d be stillborn. Even now, I can hardly talk about it without crying.”
Marie, 44, was admitted to the hospital just 23 weeks into her first pregnancy after complications that made medics fear she was about to go into labour.
Eve held on for a further week while doctors treated her worried mum with steroids in the hope they might help develop her unborn daughter’s lungs.
“I had only reached chapter five of the book about pregnancy that I was reading,” said Marie, who lives with husband Ed, 46. “I certainly wasn’t near that chapter about going into labour.
“I hadn’t even got around to telling a lot of people I was pregnant and I didn’t even have much of a bump.”
Eve was born ‘cord first’, which occurs in only one in every 300 births. It meant the umbilical cord providing vital nourishment and oxygen was at risk of becoming trapped, putting her at risk of brain damage.
She was immediately taken to the intensive care unit for babies for emergency life-saving care.
For 107 days and nights Marie and Ed, who run a digital marketing firm, maintained a nailbiting vigil by her side, hoping that their little fighter would pull through.
“She was so tiny,” said Marie. “She was only 695 grams when she was born. I’ve seen heavier packets of mince in the supermarket.”
At first Eve couldn’t breathe unaided and staff placed her on a ventilator. She was fed through a small tube and Marie was left in awe as nurses inserted cannulas into veins as thin as thread.
To their delight, Marie and Ed were able to take her home on what was meant to be the day she was born, 107 days later.
Recently Marie worked with other parents of premature babies to develop a booklet aimed at families who find themselves in the same situation, something which spurred her on to start her latest fundraising challenge.