The Highbridge parents of a ‘miracle baby’ who was born so prematurely that doctors said she wouldn’t survive have told of their emotional journey at watching her grow.
Kaci-Rose Cratchley was born at just 23 weeks and one day in January, weighing less than a bag of sugar at just 575g, and measuring 27.5cm head to toe.
But despite her parents being told she would not survive, the brave youngster is proving the doctors wrong and growing up fast despite many medical challenges along the way.
Mum Sadie Cratchley told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Despite the doctors saying she won’t survive labour and to ‘let her go’, my husband Marc and I stood our ground and asked them to try their best to save her.”
“There is no reason as to why I went into labour this early but Kaci-Rose was ready to be born.”
“After many failed attempts the doctors managed to get a tube small enough to fit down into her tiny lungs to help her breathe.”
“We were then transferred to a hospital an hour away. She was on the ventilator for 11 weeks of life, CPAP for six weeks, high flow oxygen for two weeks, then onto low flow oxygen which she is still on now.”
“For the first four and a half months of her life she was fed by tube and is now feeding very well by bottle.”
Little Kaci-Rose has faced many medical hurdles during her journey, but she has taken these in her stride.
Sadie explained: “She has chronic lung disease which she will eventually grow out of, and also a cow’s protein intolerance. She also came across many other problems whilst in the neonatal unit, such as she hadn’t passed a stool for the first 18 days, meaning we had to be transferred to another hospital, but luckily she didn’t have to have surgery.”
“Also, due to being born so early, Kaci-Rose’s eyes weren’t developing properly, resulting in her having to have laser eye surgery. We still don’t know how much of her peripheral vision she has lost.”
“We came across many obstacles whilst in the neonatal intensive care unit but overcame every single one.”
“One of her other problems was that she was born with a small hole in her heart which hadn’t yet closed over and is being followed up.”
A day before her due date, young Kaci-Rose was transferred back to her local hospital here in Somerset and, eventually, after six months she came home, weighing 6lb 1oz.
“Now, at eight months old, she is weighing over 8lb and is doing everything she should be despite being told she would be blind/deaf and probably have cerebal palsy,” added Sadie.
“It’s still early days, but she is doing amazingly well. She has hundreds following her Facebook page and absolutely everyone in our area knows who she is.”
Sadie is keen to get the message out to other mothers that premature babies can overcome their early start. “Babies do survive this young.”