'She wears her scars proudly': Amazing story of baby who nearly died when born three months premature
Her scars are a heartbreaking sign of how she courageously fought for her life after being born three months premature. But according to her devoted mother, little Milah Fisher "wears her scars proudly" - because they show her amazing fightback to survive against all the odds.
But according to her devoted mother, little Milah Fisher "wears her scars proudly" - because they show her amazing fightback to survive against all the odds.
As she went into hospital six months pregnant, the last thing Leanne Fisher expected was to give birth to her child a few days later.
But medical staff at West Suffolk Hospital sent her by emergency ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn amid fears she had pre-eclampsia - a condition marked by high blood pressure which, if untreated, can be fatal to both mother and baby.
Injections did not resolve the problems, prompting a surgeon to give Mrs Fisher's husband Mark a stark warning: "We need to get the baby out now, or you could lose both of them."
Even then, as doctors performed an emergency caesarean section, they said: "Be prepared for the worst."
Milah was born at 11.29am on March 19 2018.
Most mothers' instincts would be cuddle their babies in their arms straight away, particularly after a traumatic birth.
However Mrs Fisher said: "I couldn't see or touch her or anything, because they had to care for her."
She wouldn't be able to hold Milah for another four days, as it was discovered Milah had a bleed on her brain, a hole in her heart and lung problems.
It took five attempts at ventilation to get Milah to breathe - and it took six and a half hours after she was born for her condition to stabilise.
That though was only just the start of her battle for her survival, which saw Milah remain under intensive care at the QEH until April 13.
During much of that time the Stanton couple were only able to have an hour a day with their daughter - which made the thought of possibly losing her all the more heartbreaking.
On one frightening occasion, Mrs Fisher described Milah "going grey" in her arms before being rushed away for treatment by medical staff.
Milah was then transferred to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, where she stayed for another 94 days.
"There are no words to describe what we went through," said Mrs Fisher.
"Especially when you could see other dads walking in to take their children home, you think: 'When will we be able to take our baby home?'
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"We could hear everyone's babies crying but mine was not there.
"Looking back, it is such a blur because we were running on adrenalin.
"We were told to try and take every day as it comes and not look too far into the future."
Slowly but surely though, Milah began to gain strength and get better.
Her future is still very uncertain, with her biggest problem being chronic lung disease.
Now 14 months old, she is still unable to crawl and Mrs Fisher said: "Doctors can't say what will happen to her as she gets older.
"A common cold can lead bronchitis. We just have to be a lot more vigilant with her.
"It is difficult, even with things like booking holidays. It's really putting our life on hold until we know what's happening."
The treatment also left Milah with heartbreaking scars on her body, which were unavoidable but caused by doctors needing to get medication into her to ensure her survival.
But despite everything, there is hope - with Mrs Fisher saying: "The consultant is hoping that as she grows, she'll get better and better.
"If anything, I love her even more after what's happened. I don't how she's as strong as she is.
"All the scars she has on her body - it breaks my heart to see them.
"But they show what she's come through. She wears her scars proudly. They prove how strong she is."
Mrs Fisher also spoke of the loneliness she and her husband felt at periods of Milah's treatment.
However she was full of praise for NHS staff at West Suffolk Hospital, where Milah spent the majority of her time in care, saying they "give you that encouragement and confidence to do things with her".
Mrs Fisher recently returned to the neonatal unit at West Suffolk Hospital to donate gifts after a fundraising drive at UK Power Networks, where she works.
"Me and my husband would give our lives for how much they've done," she said.
"There are literally no words for how grateful we are."