A mum who battled sepsis during her pregnancy gave birth to a baby girl who was the same size as an iPhone.
Carly Roberts, from West Derby in Liverpool, began labour when she was just 28 weeks pregnant. Carly, who was on holiday in Anglesey, was rushed to Bangor Hospital. While in hospital doctors discovered she was suffering from sepsis, a life-threatening reaction to an infection that occurs when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body’s own tissues and organs.
Carly had been suffering flu-like symptoms for around three weeks, and doctors originally thought it was a virus.
At birth, Baby Isla weighed just 2lb 13oz and was rushed into intensive care.
The following day, she was transferred to Liverpool Women’s Hospital as she suffered three bleeds on the brain.
Carly, also mother to eight-year-old Millie, and 12-year-old Jack, said: “I was transferred in a separate ambulance to the Women’s and I remained on antibiotics for three days”.
“As you can imagine, we were there 24 hours a day, every day, we never saw the kids -they were with family, and we didn’t know whether she was going to pull through”.
“She was 2lb 13oz, so her torso would fit in my hand. She was the size of an iPhone”.
“I felt petrified”
“I felt petrified really and thought how would I cope if she died?”
“She was in intensive care for nine days and all together she was in for eight weeks”.
“It turned out I had Sepsis which contributed to her injury but now it’s also shown that she was starved of oxygen as well so that’s also contributed to the damage”.
Isla, now two, was discharged from hospital at 35 weeks old and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at six months.
Her condition means she cannot walk or move around without the aid of a walking frame or wheelchair. However, doctors believe ‘early intervention is key’ when it comes to the future development of children with cerebral palsy.
Due to lockdown restrictions on the NHS, services including physiotherapy, which Isla requires monthly, had to be put on hold.
Carly said Isla’s development has consequently suffered significantly, and she is eager to get her back on track with the help of other forms of therapy.
“Having a child with additional needs, you never think it will happen to you but they bring such a joy you’ve never felt before”.
Carly has set up a crowdfunding page with the hope of raising enough money to make Isla’s future “as independent as possible”.
Carly said: “I want to make her as independent as she possibly can be”.
“Mentally it’s like she’s compensated for her physical disabilities because she speaks in full sentences, she sings, she’s so happy”.
“When they do make those milestones it’s emotional, it’s mind-blowing”.
Carly added: “I want other mums to be aware of their own bodies and if you’re in doubt when you’re pregnant, no matter how silly you think you might be, just go and get checked”.
“If you don’t feel well keep going back to the doctors; that’s what I regret that I didn’t do”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “We wish Carly and Isla the very best, and hope their fundraising efforts are successful”.
“These wonderful stories of premature babies going on to survive are becoming almost common-place. How long will it take our lawmakers to re-examine our cruel abortion laws that permit abortion even after the point at which babies are able to survive outside of the womb?”
“Of course, babies who cannot survive outside the womb have the same dignity and worth as the babies that can, and their lives should not be ended either. But the fact that more and more premature babies are going on to survive undercuts one of the main reasons given for our current abortion law”.
“Even more alarming is that the UK’s current law allows abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities—such as Isla—but does not permit abortion past 24 weeks for babies without disabilities. This tells people with disabilities that they are valued less than people without disabilities. There is simply no place for such abhorrent legal discrimination in 21st century Britain”.