The remarkable story of a baby girl born weighing just 1.4lb has inspired her parents to raise a whopping £18,000 for Milton Keynes Hospital’s neonatal unit.
Phoebe Ellen Read arrived into the world at 24 weeks and 6 days gestation.
Her mum Jennifer and dad Stuart were told by doctors that she had a 10 per cent change of survival.
But even that fluctuated terrifyingly as little Phoebe suffered renal failure, chronic lung disease and heart problems that necessitated heart surgery in Great Ormond Street when she weighed 2kg.
Phoebe was finally allowed home when she was five months old - but only because MK hospital provided a special ventilator, to which she was attached for 20 hours a day, to help her breathe.
“She was on the ventilator until she was 18 months old. She was incredibly privileged to have this machine as it allowed her to develop and grow in a normal home life, after starting the first 177 days of her life in neonatal units,” said Jennifer.
She and Stuart, who live in Great Brickhill, know it costs £1000 per night to care for a baby in a neonatal unit.
“We cannot fail to try and raise money for vital equipment for them,” she said.
Phoebe is now a perfectly healthy three year old and her parents spend much of their spare time fundraising, organising everything from fun runs to charity balls.
Phoebe’s mum Jennifer: “Phoebe is SUCH a little whirlwind and character. Any passer by you would have idea of what she’ s been through. She’s a pickle and people say it’s exhausting just watching her!”
The most recent fundraising took place at the Great Brickhill’sl Cricket Club’s annual music/food and family day festival, Brickstock. The Reads raised just under £800 from a raffle on the day, and the Cricket Club committee donated a further £1600.
This which will purchase another new SATS monitor for the neonatal unit. The machine allows continuous oxygen, heart rate and blood pressure level monitoring.