For many mums, Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate with their children, enjoy family time and create memories for the future.
But for Ella-Mae Michalski, the lead up to her Mother’s Day was frought with worry, despair and emotional torture, as doctors advised the mum that her twins – born 14 weeks early – probably wouldn’t survive.
Severely ill, baby sisters Bella and Ruby weighed just 910 grams and 900 grams respectively at birth, with chronic lung disease and requiring 24-hour oxygen to live.
But, despite being told by doctors at her 12-week and 20-week scans that she should prepare for the worst, against the odds, Ella-Mae will get to spend Mother’s Day with her new daughters.
The family were supported by Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, which helps families caring for seriously ill children.
Rainbow Trust support worker Fiona has been giving working with Ella-Mae, fiance Giovanni and their girls since January.
Fiona has been providing emotional and practical support to the whole family, helping them adapt to moving the girls back home, taking them to hospital appointments, helping the girls with their oxygen and providing their parents with some much-needed respite.
Ella-Mae said: “I couldn’t do it without Fiona and Rainbow Trust. Having her visit for a couple of hours is like coming out of deep water and being able to breathe again.
“Having someone to talk to and who is good with the girls is amazing. She’s incredible.”
She also spoke of her relief when her twins pulled through.
“The whole time I was worried they would not survive at all or that they would remain in hospital for months longer.
“I did not think I would have them home for Mother’s Day.”
Ella-Mae and Giovanni are hoping to take Bella and Ruby to a hotel to celebrate Mother’s Day.
The twins are gradually being weaned off oxygen and are not expected to have any long-term health problems.
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