A grateful mum who spent more than five months in hospital after one of her triplets died will take on the London Marathon in April for Sheffield Hospitals Charity to thank neonatal staff.
Joanne Gray and her partner, David Ford’s daughters Alice, Emily and Lucy all weighed less than a pound each when Joanne gave birth to them three and a half years ago.
Sadly Lucy did not survive, but after an agonising fight for survival, Alice and Emily are now healthy pre schoolers, prompting Joanne to raise charity cash for the neonatal unit as a thank you to the doctors and nurses who saved their lives.
Joanne, 40, said: “At 24 weeks gestation I was rushed to a local hospital, where lots of doctors and nurses were waiting for me to come in. I was then given the heart breaking news that there was only two heartbeats.
“The next day I had an emergency caesarean section. Unfortunately Lucy had passed away and Alice and Emily were so tiny that they were taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Jessop Wing straight away. The doctors and nurses said that their aim was to get us home with two babies, but they could make us no promises as they had so many medical problems.
“We were given a room so we could be right there with them. I can’t explain the heartache and emotional upset that not being able to hold my babies for several months caused. The girls had numerous medical issues which tested the expertise of the nurses and doctors who worked so hard to keep the girls alive.
“As well as looking after them, they also looked after me and my partner, David – not just making sure we were okay, but trying to make us smile. I remember one nurse saying she was going to take the girls to feed some ducks in the night. In other words, they would be playing while mummy and daddy tried to get some rest.”
She added: “While all this was going on, Lucy had a lovely pink funeral thank you to the support of our family and friends, who got us through it. Alice and Emily eventually came home on supplementary oxygen after twenty one weeks in hospital – and a year after they were finally strong enough that they no longer needed the oxygen. They are now three and a half and thriving. They sometimes get out of breath quickly when running around, but on the whole the girls have come such a long way.” To sponsor Joanne, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JoGray1 site.