A Lurgan mum has told how she never gave up hope after her daughter was born prematurely with a rare illness requiring two major operations.
Annie McCarron was born in the Royal at 37 weeks and she had omphalocele meaning her stomach, liver and bowels had formed on the outside of her body.
Her mum Laura (22) said: “She had two major operations to put her organs back inside as well as cutting out the bits of her intestine that had died.
“She was in hospital for 10 weeks. The first night she was born the intestine had started to turn black.
“They cut out two lengths of her bowel and stitched it back together.
“At six weeks old she needed to have more black intestine cut out.
“Since then she’s been great. We’ve been told she should be perfectly healthy though she might have a bit of irritable bowel syndrome.”
The Antrim Road mother continued: “The 20 week scan detected something but they didn’t know to what scale.
“It came as a shock but you have to keep hopeful.
“She’s now six and a half months. She’s made an unbelievable recovery.
“When she was born she was 4lb 7oz, then dropped back down to 4lbs.
“She started feeding through a tube, getting 12 millilitres in an hour. When they took the tube out she got a wee bottle. She’s taken to it really well.
“We’re trying to wean her onto food at the minute with rusks. She’s up to 15lbs now.”
Talking of her support network Laura said: “My boyfriend Jonathan and both sets of parents have been such a big support as well as Jonathan’s sister Janice McCarron who works for TinyLife.”
TinyLife is Northern Ireland’s premature and sick baby charity offering both practical and emotional support to families who have been affected by premature birth or sickness at birth.
The charity was founded in 1988 primarily as a research charity but has since grown into a support charity offering a wide range of support services to local people all whilst still providing research into key areas of prematurity.
Tinylife’s annual bike ride is now in its fifth year and attracts families as well as cycling enthusiasts from across the province.
This year Laura will be one of the number taking part to thank TinyLife for all they’ve done for her family.
It will be held on Sunday, September 7 and it takes place on the tow path from Portadown to Newry, ensuring a safe, family friendly ride and participants can choose to register for 15km, 32km and 65km distances.
The entry fee is just £10 per adult and £5 per child and TinyLife ask that you raise a minimum sponsorship of £50 and £30 respectively.
Sign up today by visiting http://girodtinylife.eventbrite.co.uk or by calling Andrea on 9081 5050.