Fifteen weeks into her third pregnancy, doctors advised the mom of baby Danny that she should abort him or they both could die, but Lisa Davison said she refused the advice based on an inner confidence that things would turn out well for both of them.
Now, seven months after his birth, Danny is a healthy and happy little boy and the apple of his mother's eye.
“When I look at him now, I really can’t believe it. He shouldn’t be here but he is, and he’s a joy to look at everyday,” Lisa told the Newcastle Chronicle.
The first sign that the pregnancy would not go smoothly came when doctors discovered that Danny's amniotic sac was not attached to the wall of her womb. They later found a blood clot.
“I was losing a lot of blood and they were really worried for me. I was in hospital for three months because I was bleeding so much, and everyday I was being told the baby wasn’t going to survive.”
But despite the advice to abort, Lisa said, “something in my head told me to keep him. Somehow I was always sure he was going to be ok. Somehow I just always had the feeling he would make it.”
Danny was born by emergency Caesarean section at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, well known for its Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) that has helped numerous premature and at-risk babies survive and thrive.
Lisa was in her 33rd week of pregnancy and Danny weighed 4lbs, 4oz at birth.
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After his birth Danny immediately needed help to breath and soon developed necrotizing enterocolitis, a post-natal bowel infection that affects premature babies and can lead to death.
“He was so ill he had to be resuscitated and then had blood transfusions,” Lisa said. Following intensive care and surgery at SCBU Danny slowly began to recover and grow.
Lisa noted that a peer support group at the Special Care Baby Unit called the “Buddy Group” has been of tremendous help to her by giving her the opportunity to meet with other parents of preemie babies who have had similar problems.
“They have been incredible. Everyone has been so supportive,” she said.
“This has been an incredible journey – and a very hard one,” Danny's mom said, adding, “When I look back, I’m so happy I made the decision I did.”
The “Buddy Group” is run under the auspices of the Tiny Lives Trust, a registered charity that helps to care for premature and sick newborn babies, their mothers and families, in the Special Care Baby Unit of the Newcastle Neonatal Service of the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.