A mum whose baby daughter was born at 25 weeks and weighing just 1lb has organised a promenade walk to raise awareness of a charity close to her heart.
Little Isabella-Jean is now nearly five months old and weighing a far healthier 6lbs – a far cry from when she was given just a 50 per cent chance of survival after her birth.
The baby’s mum, Shannon Jones, is now hoping her lantern walk will raise much-needed awareness and funding for BLISS, a charity which supports families of sick and premature babies.
Isabella-Jean was born at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in June but quickly taken to Royal Preston Hospital, where the couple were told her chances of survival were slim.
“Her skin was see through, you could see you tiny heart beating,” Shannon, 23, said.
“We couldn’t touch her as her skin would burn – all we could do was sit and watch our baby fight for her life, it was awful.”
Two weeks after her birth, the baby was also diagnosed with sepsis, and doctors told Shannon and her partner Jordan Woodhouse that the next 48 hours were crucial to her survival.
“She was given 48 hours to get better or she would have died,” Shannon said. “She was a tiny 1lb 10oz and we could hold her in our hands.
“It took us a week to be able too even touch her delicate skin.”
Isabella-Jean was also sent to Manchester for a small operation, and still has a small hole in her heart valve .
“We are super proud of her,” Shannon said.
Shannon’s lantern walk takes place on November 16 from 6.30pm, starting at the clock tower and walking down the prom and back to the clock tower.
Those taking part are invited to dress up as superheroes or any other fancy dress if they wish.
Shannon hopes the walk will raise awareness of what families with premature babies go through.
“Nobody understands how hard the neonatal ward is until you’re in there,” she said.
“It’s very difficult to process and after three months being there I started to get cabin fever, and only now six weeks being at home I’m starting to adjust to normal life.”
It is thought Shannon having Strep B may have caused the premature labour.
The couple, who live in Westgate, also have a three-year-old son, Isaac, whose own birth had to be delayed after he tried to enter the world at 28 weeks.
“I want to raise awareness of premature babies and even the full-term babies that are sick,” Shannon said.
“This is not just for me but for everybody that has or is experiencing a NICU stay with their babies and children.
“No one opens up about it, I am not sure why, but it leads to PTSD and post natal depression if you bottle it all up.
“I want to make a difference and raise awareness as not a lot of people talk about it.
“I want to save somebody’s life, even if it’s just one.”
More about the event can be found on Facebook here