Cuddled by her loving mum, little Demi Mornin is home at last after they both won a desperate battle for life.
Mum Mhairi almost died three times after developing Covid-19 as, hours after giving birth, she suffered a burst gall bladder and then developed sepsis on top of Covid-19.
Safely at home after surviving her life-threatening ordeal, Mhairi hails the skill and support from NHS staff and the close bond she struck with a new mum in the same baby ward that gave her the strength to repeatedly defy death.
But Demi has almost trebled her weight and mum Mhairi, 35, says that, despite having to undergo further emergency surgery on her gall bladder, she could not be more grateful to be back home with her family.
She said: “It’s really sunk in now just how ill I was and how lucky I am to still be here to see my children growing up.
“I look at how Demi is growing bigger every day, and it brings a lump to my throat when I consider how easily things could have turned out badly and how precarious life can be.
“I think we can all be guilty of taking things for granted, but when you go through a situation like I did, it brings you face to face with what really matters, your family and the health to enjoy them.
“That’s why I don’t think I can ever thank our NHS enough, or ever forget what they gave us, getting me through the worst time of my life.”
We told how Mhairi was so ill she left final heartbreaking messages for her children, telling them to love each other.
She underwent emergency surgery to have her gall bladder removed, and then doctors discovered she had a third life threatening condition, sepsis.
During the weeks she was in hospital, including the days and night she was too ill to even touch her baby Demi, Mhairi relied on husband Stephen, 41, and the staff at the Royal Alexandra Hospital special baby unit in Paisley to look after her daughter while she fought to stay alive.
Born on May 21 at just 30 weeks and weighing just over 3lb, baby Demi was too ill to go home…until now. Mhairi said: “It’s been a long, hard journey as both Demi and I have had to continually go back and forward to hospital, but we are both doing really well now.
“Demi is thriving and is almost three times the size she was when she was first born. Of course, we all love spoiling her.”
As Mhairi got stronger and was finally able to visit Demi every day at the special baby unit, in the incubator next to her was little Logan White, also born at 30 weeks and at 2lb 10 oz.
Mhairi and Logan’s mum Courtney McKean, 23, from Beith, struck up an incredible friendship and have continued to support each other now both their babies are out of hospital.
Courtney said: “We’ve all been through the mill, but we are so grateful to our wonderful NHS for getting us through it all.
“I suffered high blood pressure and then pre-eclampsia, so Logan was delivered just after 30 weeks which was terrifying because of the risks of Covid-19 as well as all the usual risks of having an emergency Caesarian.
“Mhairi and I couldn’t believe how incredible the NHS were and we want to thank them for looking after us and our babies.
“Because our babies were in incubators for so long, with tubes and machines keeping them alive, a special baby unit can be a scary place to sit watching them, so Mhairi and I kept each other’s spirits up.
“It’s wonderful to see both babies growing before our eyes, and looking so well now.
“We gave Logan his grandfather’s middle name because he passed away from Covid just before our baby was born. So many families have lost relatives and suffered through hard times this year. I think we all appreciate how lucky we have all been.”
Mhairi will have to undergo further surgery towards the end of the year but, for now, she is just enjoying being a mum for the fourth time.
She said: “I know all mums are biased, but Demi is gorgeous. When I saw her smiling face, I knew I had to fight to stay alive to watch her growing up. She’s our precious gift.”
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