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Mum thanks neonatal unit that saved her baby by running marathon

Joss Frazer, mum to four-year-old William, ran the Romsey Relay Marathon and raised hundreds of pounds for the Southampton Hospital neonatal unit where her son was cared for when he was born 14 weeks premature. 

Baby in neonatal ward for 100 days

Joss Frazer was only 26 weeks pregnant when a complication meant that she had to have an emergency c-section. Taken from work to Southampton General Hospital by ambulance, she gave birth to baby William 14 weeks early. 

Ms Frazer had to have a blood transfusion and little William remained in the neonatal unit for 100 days before he was allowed to return home. Mum, Joss, has called the care they received in the hospital “extraordinary” and said that the staff were “incredible – they cared for us to a level I wasn’t expecting”. 

Giving something back to the hospital that helped her son

Wanting to show her appreciation to the staff who helped save her son, Ms Frazer decided to run a marathon in support of the Southampton Hospital Charity. She set her fundraising target as £100 but raised over triple the amount. 

She was joined in the race by her colleagues, who had seen her whisked away by an ambulance the day that William was born. Frazer said that it was particularly special to share this moment with colleagues as they had been so supportive of her over the past year.

She said “I was very unexpectedly and suddenly not at work for over a year, and at no point was I made to feel anything other than supported”.

“Coming back to work was made easy for me. I really felt that I was able to ignore everything else and just focus on our care and wellbeing”.

William turned four this month and was supporting his mum as she finished the 26-mile run. 

Survival rates are constantly improving

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine for management of births before 27 weeks, shows that anywhere from 3-22% of babies born at 22 weeks gestation go on to survive.

A study by Dr Edward F Bell of the University of Iowa found that from 2013 to 2018, with infants born between 22 and 28 weeks gestation, “survival to discharge occurred in 78.3% and was significantly improved compared with a historical rate of 76.0% among infants born in 2008-2012.”

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “This wonderful story is another example of the incredible medical advances that allow premature babies to survive”. 

“The support Ms Frazer received from her place of work helps to create a society that is supportive of mothers and babies. It is so encouraging to hear how well she was cared for at work”. 

“Little William was born just two weeks after the UK abortion time limit and his survival acts as a defiant challenge to this country’s laws which, just two weeks before, would have allowed him to be aborted”. 

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.