Miracle baby Emily Garvock is celebrating her fifth birthday today – despite “dying” twice as a premature baby.
Now a picture of health, Emily, of Wouldhave Court, South Shields, was born 26 weeks early, weighed just 1lb 11oz and facing a fight for her life.
Now, her parents Paul and Lisa have a happy, healthy daughter, and son, Ben, who is six.
Emily was so tiny when she was born that her body couldn’t cope and she died twice, having to be brought back to life by doctors.
Lisa, 40, said: “My daughter died twice. It was such a scary time, but now that she’s turning five it feels amazing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with her and she’s just a happy, cheeky little girl.”
Emily’s heart stopped beating just after she was born and, again, two weeks later when doctors attempted to take her off oxygen and let her breathe on her own.
I felt numb. My daughter died twice. It was such a scary time, but now that she’s turning five it feels amazing.Lisa Garvock
Each time, specialist doctors at the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, brought her back to life, but Emily was four months old before she could return home.
Emily is also the family’s second miracle baby.
Lisa was told at the age of 21 that she would never be able to have children.
At 33 she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and, as she prepared for an operation, she found out she was pregnant.
Baby Ben was also early – by seven weeks and weighing 4lb 5oz.
With Emily, the couple initially went to South Tyneside District Hospital but were transferred to Teesside, which is better equipped at dealing with premature babies.
They were told by a paediatrician that there was a 70% chance their daughter wouldn’t make it or that she would be severely disabled.
Paul, 50, a Westoe Taxis driver, said: “All of the doctors and nurses at the James Cook were amazing and we feel so lucky that Emily is doing so well.
“There are always people out there going through the same thing and you do worry and think the worst. You worry that your baby isn’t going to survive or if they’ll have problems when they get older.”
Lisa said: “You go through most of it just feeling numb and just hoping for the best, but there’s lots of help out there and we just want to show everyone that it can work out all right.”