Now healthy and happy one year old
By Dave Andrusko
When little Hailie Dillon was born last year at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, England, she survived a collapsed lung and seven minutes without oxygen. But that was only part of the story of what her mom Cheri Price calls her “little miracle.”
Hailie was born at 23 weeks and six days–as the Sun newspaper tells us, “ just a day before the legal abortion limit of 24 weeks”—weighing a microscopic 1lb 2oz , and so premature her skin was transparent.
“When Hailie was born, it sounds bad to say it, but she looked like a red alien,” her mom told Andrea Downey.
“She was still in the foetus stage and she didn’t look like a baby at all – we couldn’t believe she even survived. “
(Hailie had yet to form any pigmentation.)
“From birth she was put in an incubator and we couldn’t touch her – but we could see all the veins of her brain through her red skin.”
Downey explains that at 20 weeks, Cheri lost the plug of mucus that surrounds the cervix to prevent infections, often a sign that labor is beginning. This was January 30, 2017.
But delivering a baby that premature requires tremendous resources and doctors at St Mary’s Hospital in the Isle of Wight were unable to accommodate a baby this young.
Along with her partner, Timothy Dillon, they begin trying to find a hospital to stay. While traveling 300 miles (which included a train ride and a ride on a ferry) to where Timothy’s brother lived, Cheri battled contractions.
Downey tells us the story of the next few harrowing weeks.
She spent the next two weeks in and out of hospital in Middlesbrough before deciding to head back to the Isle of Wight to give birth to Hailie, who was by then close to the 24 week mark.
But before they could make the journey her waters broke on February 21 and she gave birth to Hailie two days later in Middlesbrough.
“We just thought we would take the chance at a larger hospital –and we were closer to relatives so they could help with childcare for Jack [their 11 month old son],” Cheri said.
“I was discharged – but then my waters broke…two days later.
Hailie was born February 23, 2017. It would be 18 days before Cheri could hold her and they had to wait three months to take their child home from James Cook University Hospital.
“I’m so proud of her, what we’ve been through and what she has been through has been horrendous,” Cheri told the Sun. (That included almost losing her eyesight.)
“She was finally allowed home on June 19 last year– two days after her actual due date,” Downey writes.