When her waters broke 23 weeks into her pregnancy, Nicola Mercer feared she would lose her baby boy.
He was expected to be born early and she was given the devastating news that at 23 weeks, his chances of survival were slim.
Nicola, a hairdresser, said: “I was told he would not make it, as our local hospital in Blackpool did not have the equipment to revive babies at 23 weeks and I would have to be sent elsewhere.
“By this time it was 2am, at that time of night I couldn’t be sent anywhere, as I wouldn’t make it before the baby arrived.
“I was told I would have time for an abortion and we were put in a room to think about it.
“Later we were given a sheet that showed if he stayed in, my baby would get stronger week by week.
“Me and my husband Norman decided we were not going to give up.
“I did an internet search about PPROM and that is when I found Little Heartbeats, who raise awareness of PPROM and support families through this.”
PPROM – pre-term premature rupture of the membranes – when a pregnant woman’s waters break early, happens in around two per cent of cases. It can, but does not always, trigger premature labour. Babies born before 24 weeks because of PPROM are unlikely to survive.
Nicola, whose son Vinny is now three years old, said: “Little Heartbeats’ support and information helped me so much. They recommended I rest and drink plenty of fluids.
“Their website and support gave me hope and made me feel I was not alone. I’m so grateful to have found Little Heartbeats, who empowered me with knowledge and helped me through PPROM.
“I stayed pregnant for a further 10 weeks with no waters, which was rare at Blackpool Vic but common to Little Heartbeats.
“When our baby Vincent was born, he stayed in hospital for three weeks – getting stronger every day.”
Now Nicola is raising money for Little Heartbeats, along with an awareness, with a hair show fundraising night on Saturday, at 7pm, at the Conservative Club, in Fleetwood – including raffles, entertainment, games, a silent auction and a through the decades hair show.
She said: “Vincent is our little miracle and we want to help Little Heartbeats to save more babies like him. Also, if your waters break before 28 weeks, you are not classed as an emergency This is another reason to raise awareness.”
• Tickets for the event cost £5, available from the Hair Lounge, Fleetwood.