Local mum, Siobhan Daly will be swapping her business attire for a slinky sequinned dress as she takes to the dance floor in aid of TinyLife.
Siobhan will perform with dance partner Trevor Leonard in a Strictly Come Dancing style event which will raise much needed funds for TinyLife, Northern Ireland’s premature and sick baby charity.
The Dollingstown mum of two has chosen to get involved following the premature birth of her youngest daughter, Erin who was born at just 26 weeks in 2009.
Having carried her first daughter Ciara to term, Siobhan and husband Martin assumed that she would have a straight forward pregnancy second time around so when her waters suddenly broke 14 weeks before her due date, the couple were terrified.
Erin was born in the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital and weighed just 2lb 1oz. 15 medical staff were awaiting her early arrival and just seconds later, the tiny tot was whisked away to neonatal intensive care unit.
It was four days later before the couple finally got to hold their precious daughter.
Siobhan recalled: “She was incredibly tiny and there were tubes and wires coming out of virtually every vein.
“Her lungs were immature as a result of her prematurity and she had suffered a bleed to the brain, coupled with her low birth weight, we realised very quickly that Erin was fighting against all odds.”
The next few months were an emotional rollercoaster including the onset of infection which created a hole in Erin’s heart at just 12 days old.
Eleven weeks later, Erin was discharged. Siobhan said: “Erin had to be closely monitored by the hospital due to her low birth weight and the setbacks she had suffered as a result of her prematurity. But none of that mattered because our little girl had fought hard and won her battle and she was here, at home, with us.”
Now five years on, Erin has been given a clean bill of health and mother Siobhan felt it was time to give something back to TinyLife, the charity that helped her family through their darkest days.
Siobhan said: “Taking part in Strictly will be a challenge but more importantly it is my way of giving something back to a charity that is so close to my heart.
“We are currently in our fourth week of training and it has been intensive to say the least but I am really enjoying the training with Trevor and I’m looking forward to the night itself.”
TinyLife Does Strictly takes place on Thursday, November 6 in La Mon Hotel and Country Club, Belfast.