Erin Stones was born weighing just 1lb 10oz with all of her organs “massively underdeveloped” but she has miraculously beaten the odds to survive
Image: Claire Stones)
A “miracle” baby that was born weighing less than a bag of sugar overcame all the odds and survived, despite doctors telling her mum she was going to have a miscarriage.
Tiny Erin Stones weighed just 1lb 10oz, had a hole in her heart and was unable to breathe on her own when she was born prematurely.
Her mum, Claire, was told by medics that she was going to have a miscarriage when she went into the hospital for what she thought was a urine infection, reports WalesOnline.
“At that point I was still at 22 weeks and if she’d been born at that stage she just wouldn’t have survived,” said Claire, “She was just too small.”
But when the little tot did not arrive within 48 hours, Claire was transferred to another hospital where she was told that every day Erin stayed inside the womb the greater the chance she had of survival.
Erin arrived two weeks later and Claire said at first it “feels like it’s not your baby because it’s not what you’ve prepared in your head your whole life”.
“When she was born they took her and resuscitated her and they put a tube in so she was ventilated then she was brought over to me to hold her and have that moment before they whisked her away to have all the wires put in,” she said.
Doctors spent months battling to keep the tiny tot alive as Erin remained on life support for the first month of her life with her organs “massively underdeveloped”, meaning she was unable to breathe by herself.
She was also treated for 13 different infections.
“Even when we got her off the ventilator we were unable to bring her breathing support down,” said Claire. “She also had lots of different screenings for infections and sepsis. Whenever she had chest infections they would start her on antibiotics again.
“Erin also had a hole in her heart known as a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus). When babies are in the womb they have the PDA to allow blood and oxygen to pass through but normally when babies are born it closes. With Erin, as she was so early, it just stayed open. They tried to close it with ibuprofen and paracetamol but it just didn’t work which caused blood to be pumped into her lungs.”
Aged just nine weeks, Erin had her first operation to close the hole in her heart.
Claire said: “It was very hard getting emotionally involved [with Erin] in the first few weeks because you knew at any point she could be taken away.
“When they are that small and that premature they don’t give you much hope. All they say is to take each day at a time. I just remember waking up every day and wondering whether she was going to live or die.”
But Erin overcame the odds and began building up her strength, eventually being taken off the life support machine and was transferred to a special care baby unit.
It would be another three months until the little fighter was able to be discharged from hospital – six days after what was her original due date.
“Seeing my two daughters together for the first time was the biggest thing for me. I remember my husband Ed and Norah coming in to take us home and Norah holding Erin’s hand in the car seat. That was amazing,” added Claire.
“Erin didn’t give up and neither did the people who worked day and night caring for her and all the other babies on the unit every single day at the most critical of times.
The Mirror is committed to more hopeful news.
We recognise the news agenda can sometimes feel overwhelmingly negative.
And while it’s our job to keep you informed and hold those in power to account, we are making a commitment to also report more hopeful news.
We will celebrate the people, places and movements that are bringing good into the world and, more than that, we will dig beneath the surface of important issues with the aim of finding hope.
We will be firm in our convictions – but always fair-minded.
By sharing solutions to problems, we can do more good and feel better about the world around us.
Because we believe you deserve it. #mirrormorehopeful
“These people are way beyond skilled medics and healthcare professionals – they are counsellors, teachers, and friends when the world is a very scary place.”
Erin is now 11 months old and is still on oxygen support during the night, but thankfully there are no issues with her heart.
Claire decided to share her story to raise awareness of World Prematurity Day on November 17.
She added: “She’s such a little trooper. Even when she’s not well she has a smile on her face. She’s the easiest baby ever – she’s happy and easy-going.”