A mum who gave birth at just 29 weeks has thanked staff on the neonatal unit for supporting her and her son.
Geraldine Faber had 11 weeks of her pregnancy to go when she was given the devastating news that she had developed severe pre-eclampsia.
It meant her body was rejecting her baby, which had to be delivered by emergency Caesarean section.
Baby Noah was born weighing just 2lbs 13oz on June 18.
He was immediately admitted onto the neonatal ward at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where he was put onto an oxygen ventilator.
It was 10 days before Geraldine was allowed to hold her baby.
Noah stayed on the unit for three months and two weeks. Geraldine, 32, said: “It was horrendous.
“Noah wasn’t getting the right level of oxygen and he had two holes in his heart, all due to his prematurity.
“One day he would be fine and the next he was back in the incubator needing more oxygen and I’d feel like my whole world was going to end, but you get through it because you have to. Looking back, I don’t know how I did.
“I just lived for each day, hoping he’d get through it.
“It’s been the most traumatic experience in my life, I’ll never have any more children.”
Geraldine, of Endsleigh Gardens, South Shore, said one of the worst things was having to leave her baby every night when visiting hours were over.
“Going home with no baby was heartbreaking,” she said.
“But every day it’s like a home from home in the unit. The staff were there if I needed anything or had any questions. We all got to know each other very well.”
Staff even put on a party to celebrate what should have been Noah’s due date.
“It made all the difference to me, that someone could take the time out and do that for me and Noah,” she added.
Noah is now receiving oxygen at home, with help from nurses who visit three times a week.
They are starting to wean him off the gas, and hope he might be completely off it in a couple of weeks.
Geraldine said: “He’s thriving now. We’re waiting for an operation to fix his heart in Manchester, but he’s going to have a normal life – he’s already very active and clever.”
She is holding a charity social night on February 1 for the Blue Skies Hospitals Fund in aid of the neonatal unit.
She added: “I can’t thank the neonatal nurses enough – I honestly believe they saved his life.
“I just want to give something back and raise awareness about the fantastic work they do. Until you are in that situation you will never know.”
The event will start at 7.30pm at Blackpool Cricket Club. Tickets can be bought for £5 from the bar at the cricket club, by visiting www.cowbellradio.co.uk or calling 07472 753283.