A first time mother who was unable to cuddle her daughter for a month, after she was born 14 weeks early and had to be resuscitated on several occasions, is now fundraising to help the charity and the hospital unit which helped the family.
Amy Fuller, of Regan Court in Penryn, endured a “horrific” pregnancy and birth which saw daughter Alanna arrive feet first and upside down, weighing just 1lb 10oz and “looking like a skeleton.”
Fortunately, despite their trials which saw Alanna suffer three bleeds on the brain, an open duct in her heart and chronic lung disease, Amy and partner Jack Elson are now the proud parents of a happy and healthy 19-month-old.
The traumatic events began after Amy had her first appointment with her midwife. “My back was aching and I couldn’t go to the bathroom and then I doubled over in pain,” she said.
“I was told I had been walking around for over a week, fully dilated but I’d had no pain, no nothing.
“I went into shock and was then admitted into hospital and they started pumping me full of drugs to hold off the labour. They were taking my temperature and blood pressure every 15 minutes, all through the night.”
Three days later, Amy went into labour and after six hours, Alanna arrived, but was immediately whisked away and was then kept in an incubator for the next four months. “It was so scary seeing her for the first time, I had to leave after ten minutes because it was all too much,” said Amy.
“Her skin was bright red and she had to be under UV light so her face and eyes were covered. Everything looked perfect, but she was just so small. Doctors didn’t think she would last the first 24 hours and we were told to prepare for the worst.”
Alanna proved to be a fighter, however, and four-and-a-half months later she came home from hospital, still only weighing 6lbs 10oz and needing oxygen, but on the road to recovery. “She is still a lot smaller than a lot of her friends, but she is perfectly healthy now,” said Amy, 27. “She still gets regular checks and has a heart scan twice a year, but it all looks good.”
Last year Amy and Jack raised £1,400 for the neo-natal unit at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske and now are planning to raise some much needed cash for the charity Bliss. Amy has been accepted onto the charity’s team to run the London marathon in April and so has pledged to raise £2,500.
To kick-start this, Amy and Jack are holding a fundraiser at Falmouth Watersports Centre on September 15 from 1.30pm when there will be a raffle with over 30 prizes, a tombola, various stalls and face painting. Raffle tickets can be bought in advance from the Spar shop in Mawnan Smith.
Well-wishers can also sponsor Amy’s marathon run by visiting www.justgiving.com/amy-fuller. The first £2,500 raised will go to Bliss and any extra will be donated to the neo-natal unit.