Miracle as tiny county Limerick baby fights for life

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

A MIRACLE baby who was born weighing a mere 1lb 5oz is putting up an “amazing” fight for life at the maternity hospital in Limerick this week after being born three months premature.

A MIRACLE baby who was born weighing a mere 1lb 5oz is putting up an “amazing” fight for life at the maternity hospital in Limerick this week after being born three months premature.

The little girl – who is so delicate that she has been held just once by her mother - is receiving round the clock expert care at the Limerick hospital.

Aimee Laura Hennessy is so tiny that her parents, Nicola and John from Kilmallock, refer to her as their “little Thumbelina” after the fairy princess who was no bigger than her mother’s thumb.

“We are allowed touch her – I got to hold her the other day just while they were changing her incubator. It was lovely,” said Nicola this week.

“John has changed her nappy but he hasn’t got to hold her yet. He is a bit nervous, she is so small,” she continued.

Nicola gave birth to baby Aimee – the couple’s first child - on January 6, just 24 weeks into her pregnancy. She had been an inpatient of the Mid-Western Regional Maternity Hospital on the Ennis Road since Christmas Day.

“I was hospitalised for two weeks beforehand. I was on complete bed rest because they kind of knew that something wasn’t right. She was born in her waters which they say is a good sign,” she explained.

The 32-year-old and her husband John have maintained an almost constant vigil at the side of the incubator in which Aimee rests. The little girl is connected to a range of medical equipment to aid her in her determined fight for life. She wears a little pink and white hat to insulate her head.

“It’s an emotional roller-coaster - you have a good day and then Sunday was a very bad day. We didn’t know if she was going to pull through on Sunday or not. Her lungs are very underdeveloped so that will be her big battle, her big fight. Everything else seems to be ok, it’s just her lungs.”

Thankfully, brave Aimee turned the corner on Monday and is doing much better now.

“She is good. She is well settled,” said Nicola who described her daughter’s determined spirit as “amazing”.

Weighing just 678 grammes or 1lb 5oz at birth, Aimee is one of the smallest babies born in the county.

*A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Leader, print edition, dated Janaury 21, 2012