Malawian single mum, Agatha Gitta Phiri has hit headlines in British newspapers after her ‘miracle baby‘ has defied the odds after being born weighing just 1Ib 4oz – two weeks before her actual due date – and has returned home from hospital.
The Mirror, Manchester Evening Standard and The Sunday People all carried the story and pictures of beautiful ‘miracle bbay’ Elizabeth Phiri who unexpectedly arrived in June, around four months early, after mum Gitta’s waters suddenly broke.
She was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester where the tiny baby was delivered weighing less than a bag of sugar, the papers reported.
The baby spent two-and-a-half months in an incubator and now Gitta has praised the doctors and nurses of the NHS for saving her baby’s life as she is now happy and healthy at home in Oldham for Christmas.
“I was staying at my friend’s house and it didn’t feel right. Then when I woke up in the middle of the night my bed was really, really wet. My waters had broke.
“I was so worried because it was far too early. My friend was trying to reassure me, saying my body was going through a lot of changes but I couldn’t feel my baby moving,” the Malawian mum is quoted in The Sunday People newspaper.
They visited the medical walk-in centre the following morning and were told to get straight to hospital.
“When we got to St Mary’s I had a scan and they told me they needed to get the baby out to protect it. I realised it was serious. They told me all sorts of things that could happen because it was so early.
“It might be blind, or deaf, or have seizures because the brain wasn’t fully developed. They said the chances of survival were 50-50. I was crying, I was so stressed.”
Baby Elizabeth was delivered on June 27 and rushed straight into an incubator.
“I was going through all sorts of emotions, what had I done wrong? I felt like God was punishing me through my child. I didn’t even see her before she was placed in the incubator.
“There were so many doctors and nurses around me, all trying to help. All trying to save her. When I saw her in the incubator she looked so small and was covered in tubes and wires. I could have fit her in the palm of my hand.”
Gitta and Elizabeth spent 103 days in hospital and were discharged at the start of October – two weeks before the tot’s due date.
The Malawian has thanked NHS midwives and medics for saving her daughter’s life.
“If it wasn’t for the NHS I wouldn’t be a mother now. I was treated with love and I know other babies born at around the same time don’t survive.
“But she wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for the care and dedication of the NHS. I can never thank them enough,” Manchester Evening Standard quoted Mum Gitta.
She described their first cuddle as ‘the most beautiful moment’, adding: “I was shaking and crying.”
And Gitta said the experience has given her a new outlook on life, saying it has taught her to respect the medical professionals so much.
“They work so hard around the clock, every second of every minute, to save lives.”
If it were in Malawi hospitals, the story could have been different.
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