A Moorebank mother is encouraging the community to support premature and sick newborns through the MiracleBabiesFoundation.
The foundation has just launched a Helping Hands campaign with McDonald’s which aims to support families and raise funds for a Kan Med bed at Liverpool Hospital’s neonatal intensive-care unit.
Kan Med beds help premature babies make the transition home with efficient temperature management and easy access for parents.
Mother Narena Coorey said her daughter Lucia was born premature at 25 weeks old.
“We have a son who’s 2 and he was born full-term so it was an absolute shock. All my checkups went smoothly up until I couldn’t feel her for 24 hours. I just knew something wasn’t right. Call it a mother’s intuition,” Narena said.
“I went to the obstetrician and found out I had pre-eclampsia. I was told if I didn’t give birth that night, both our lives were in danger. It was a very scary moment. When the doctor told us about the survival rate of a 25-week baby, I looked at my husband Christopher and said sorry. I thought it was too late.”
Lucia was delivered through an emergency C-section. Nerena was awake during the process.
“We didn’t know the gender. When they told us it was a girl, it was bittersweet because we didn’t know if she was going to make it. The first 48 hours were critical.”
Lucia survived and remained in the NICU for four months before being allowed home.
“I was lucky to have incredible family support. If I didn’t talk or cry I would’ve exploded. We couldn’t hold her for three days after she was born. It killed me but I wanted the best for her and when I got to cuddle her it was the best. We’ve had her home for a few weeks. At first it was hard to adjust but we have some routine now. She had to get used to the noises and smells here.
“We also have 11-metre cords running through the home that give her oxygen. We’re just taking it day by day. She’s a little warrior and her brother’s already protective. We call him the ‘cord police’ because anytime we walk near it he’ll tell us to be careful.”
Nerina said she was thankful for Miracle Babies’ support at the most challenging of times. “The nurture booklet they gave us was great when I was in hospital. It had stories from other families I could relate to. I had feelings of guilt and I realised other mothers did, too. Someone from Miracle Babies visited us in hospital regularly.
“It was so good to have someone to talk to. It was so important having a network like them. The hospital’s NICU staff were amazing, too. It takes a special person to work there.”