Wha's like us ... Carolyn Isbister

Share this article

THERE was no more heartwarming tale last week than that of Carolyn Isbister, a 36-year-old chemist from West Lothian who saved her newborn child's life with nothing more complex than a mother's love.

Her daughter, Rachael, was born weighing just 20oz when a womb infection put Carolyn into labour after 24 weeks. Her heart was barely beating and she was grey and lifeless. Doctors decided it would be pointless to put the baby on a ventilator and told Carolyn and her partner, David Elliot, she had little time to live. Carolyn asked for one cuddle - Rachael's first, and last - before she died.

Remarkably, when Carolyn laid Rachael on her chest the baby gave a cry, her heartbeat grew stronger and she started to breathe more regularly. Four months later, Rachael is home and well, and getting stronger every day.

Ian Laing, a neonatologist at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, admitted he hadn't seen anything like it in 27 years' practice, calling Rachael a "miracle baby". So here's to you, Carolyn - and to loving mothers everywhere.