‘Miracle’ boy born at just 21 weeks celebrates first Christmas – all thanks to strangers on social media
Medics advised her to terminate but members of the group gave her advice and her little boy defied the odds
THIS year Faris will celebrate his first Christmas – all thanks to strangers on Facebook.
Parents Davinia Watson and Mido Hassan call the now-healthy ten-month-old their “little miracle”.
Faris has defied the odds and will be spending his first Christmas at home
Last Christmas, when Davinia, 37, felt her waters break, she was just 21 weeks pregnant — three weeks before a baby is considered medically viable for treatment.
She and Mido, 27, a hospital stock manager, were devastated to learn their unborn baby had just a two per cent chance of survival.
Heartbroken Davinia was sent home from hospital knowing the probable outcome would be a miscarriage.
Doctors had sent Davinia home, but she was determined not to give up hope
But she found hope in the most unexpected of places — on social media.
She wrote about her plight on Facebook, on a parenting forum called Little Heartbeats.
Soon she had been inundated with messages of support from other mums.
It helped her believe that all was not lost.
She was stunned to receive messages from other mums giving her solace and advice – and decided to refuse to terminate her baby despite doctor’s warning the tot had just a two per cent chance of survival as she had no waters left.
Logging on daily, Davinia followed the advice about her condition, known as pre-term premature rupture of membranes (PPROM).
It included lots of bed rest and being alert to symptoms that might indicate infection.
Davinia went against medics advise and didn’t terminate her pregnancy
She clung on until she had passed the 24-week mark, when her baby became eligible for medical treatment.
Davinia, from Ipswich, says: “Everyone had given up on him and I was being told to as well.
“It was only thanks to Facebook I found a glimmer of hope.
“Thank goodness, because he is amazing.
“A true little miracle and a gorgeous one too.
“This Christmas will be magical.”
Hospital purchasing manager Davinia and Mido were over the moon when she fell pregnant in June 2015.
At 16 weeks, she learned she was having a boy, calling him Faris — a little brother to her son from a previous relationship, Isaac, nine.
Davinia says: “We were so happy but at 21 weeks, while I was dressing for work just after the Christmas break, I felt a trickle of fluids and knew my waters had gone.
“I was distraught.
“At hospital it was confirmed and medics said that they thought my poor baby was doomed.”
Doctors warned she would go into labour within 48 hours — and deliver a stillborn baby as it was too young to survive.
Because he was below the 24-week threshold, her son would receive no medical help.
Davinia says: “It was all so much tragedy to take in.
“I was discharged and sent home to wait for nature to take its course.
“I didn’t know what to do, so I logged on to Facebook and was astonished to find a group for other mothers who had also suffered PPROM.
“I posted about my son and got advice urging me not to give up and advising me on what to do next.
“Until then, I thought there was no hope, as that is what I had been told by the doctors.
“Suddenly I was speaking to women who had first-hand experience telling me there might be hope. I was torn.”
Faris couldn’t get medical treatment until he was 24 weeks along
Little Heartbeats was set up by a mother with PPROM whose baby had died.
Davinia says: “Once I knew there was a chance, I could never give up on him.”
She signed herself off work and got plenty of bed rest, determined to give Faris a fighting chance.
Davinia says: “I was told at the hospital my baby would be born too soon.
“As I remained in bed for the next 44 days, I was logging in to Facebook daily for help and support, hoping I was proving the medics wrong.
My son passed the 24-week mark, which meant he was viable for medical treatment and could be helped at birth.
“I was given weekly blood tests to check for infection but returned to my self-imposed bed rest at home.”
In February, her infections markers were high and doctors suspect
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Davinia says: “Armed with knowledge from the Facebook group, I knew to request steroids to strengthen his lungs in preparation for the birth.”
Faris was delivered by emergency C-section on February 19.
He weighed 2lb 2oz and had to be resuscitated three times.
He was put into intensive care and after five days on a ventilator, Faris began to breathe for himself.
Davinia says: “Knowing he was taking those breaths for himself was more than I could have hoped for.
“We were the happiest, proudest new mum and dad in the world.
“Over the coming weeks, Faris survived so many blood transfusions we lost count.
“He was eventually discharged at 70 days.
“Faris is now ten months old and, ahead of his first Christmas, we have been told he does not have cerebral palsy and is meeting all his milestones.
“He is a happy tot and amazes me every day.
“I am now counselling other mums who suffer PPROM via the Little Heartbeats page that saved my son.
“It is my chance to give something back.
“PPROM is not always fatal, as my boy has shown.
“I was told there was no hope.
“But thanks to Facebook, I realised there was — and the advice helped me through the worst time ever.
“Now here he is, a true little miracle.
“I call the mums who supported us our ‘Facebook family’.
“They might be strangers but they helped save his life.”