Daughters Ayla and Ava were born to first-time mother Kirsty Black at 25 weeks. The 23-year-old first-time mother was transported to Wishaw University Hospital in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, on December 28 for an urgent cesarean section. Both babies tragically experienced brain bleeding, but Ava’s condition was more serious. Ava was born weighing only 1 pound 11 ounces, and the shortage of oxygen caused her heart to cease beating for 12 minutes. She experienced “total brain damage” in just five days. The heartbreaking choice to “let her go” had to be made by Kirsty and her partner Kevin Allan, 34.
She said: “I held Ava in my arms when they turned off her phone, which I found really confrontational. It’s best to take all of her devices off and let her go, they say can be quick or easy. she lasted a few hours I felt her last breath shortly after midnight when I told her to try I didn’t want her anniversary to be on New Year’s Day but she got it announced just after 1am.”
The parents struggled to stay strong for their other newborn daughter, Ayla, who was born weighing only 1 pound, 10 ounces. After 93 days of hospital treatment, the couple was able to bring her home to Carluke, South Lanarkshire.
“We knew we had to remain strong for Ayla and not lose hope,” Kirsty said. The nurses were a fantastic help and seeing to it that she was taken home. I have no idea where my strength came from. Ayla overcome all obstacles, and fortunately she only experienced a tiny brain bleed before making a full recovery. Despite being born 15 weeks early, we are really lucky that she has done well and is in excellent condition.
Ayla had gained over seven pounds at this point. She has chronic pulmonary illness, which is typical of premature infants whose lungs are underdeveloped at birth. Kirsty gives the Wishaw Neonatal unit staff high marks.
It’s been a very long road in infancy, but the staff made us feel secure about losing Ava, she added. The nurses as a whole have never made me feel more supported and the doctor. They treated our children like they were their own, and I will always be appreciative of a fantastic team. That was such a fulfilling experience that some days were harder than others. You just have to have hope because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
“We’re also hosting a race night to raise awareness of the outstanding work they do every day, not just for my babies but for all the other babies and families going through this period. It’s just a little something in return for a thank you, although nothing is enough to thank them for everything.”