Baby arrives early to be parents’ best man
TINY Ellis Lane was determined to be best man at his parents’ wedding.
Born at 25 weeks, on April 8 at just 547g, his mother’s engagement ring could fit around his arm as a bracelet.
Yesterday was to be Ellis’s full- term birthday and parents Neil and Leigh Lane thought it was the perfect date to tie the knot as a family in Townsville Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
There was no long white dress or bouquet, but Ellis was still dressed in a tiny tuxedo to play ringbearer at the intimate bedside service in front of a celebrant and proud hospital staff.
Mr and Mrs Lane from Toomulla Beach had already postponed their traditional church wedding twice, once after finding out they were pregnant and then when Ellis arrived early.
“We were going to get married this year on July 21 but he came into the world in a hurry and threw everything out,” Mr Lane said.
“July 14 was his due date so with the blessing of our families we decided to mark the day and say our vows in a private affair, because he is here and we can include him.
“The day will be very special and I can’t wait to show him photos when he is older.”
Mum Leigh, a nurse at the hospital, said her family’s three- month ordeal had been a very humbling experience and she was so grateful that her colleagues could help accommodate an intimate bedside wedding.
“Ellis was first saved by my obstetrician Dr Renee Verkuijl and then every day since in the NICU,” she said.
“Over the years I have had patients thank me and families thank me and you think it’s just your job,” she said.
“But now I am in that position, I truly understand what it’s like giving someone that thanks.”
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit clinical director Dr Guan Koh has helped deliver more than 13,000 babies in his career but this was his first patient wedding.
“Neonatal care is a very stressful environment with a lot of worries and it can be a lonely time for a lot of parents,” Dr Koh said.
“But this is just a beautiful and unique event not only for the baby, but it’s very exciting for the staff and the parents.
“Ellis has almost reached the critical 100 days so it’s a double celebration.”
The day will be very special and I can’t wait to show him photos when he gets a bit older
NEW FATHER NEIL LANE
BEST BABY: Leigh and Neil Lane with little Ellis in the neonatal intensive care unit at Townsville Hospital.
Rural Insight, page 23