Par­ents’ pil­grim­age back to Ninewells for twin baby they lost

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Front Page - BY STEVEN RAE

The words of a Tay­side mum who is walk­ing from Perth to Dundee to raise money for Ninewells Hos­pi­tal, to thank staff who cared for her daugh­ter who trag­i­cally passed away shortly af­ter birth.

Danielle Brown, 30, and hus­band John, 30, will be mak­ing the trek on May 27 to raise money for the Neona­tal In­ten­sive Care Unit (NICU) at the Dundee hos­pi­tal, leav­ing from their na­tive Perth.

The cou­ple’s baby daugh­ter, Lexi, died on May 23 2014, while her pre­ma­ture twin sis­ter Lacey was treated in the unit for more than six weeks.

Danielle, 30, said: “In Novem­ber 2013 I found out I was preg­nant again and we were over the moon, then when it came to my first scan we were told we were hav­ing twins, we were all so happy and the kids were ec­static. “Our hap­pi­ness grew when at 15 weeks we were told we were hav­ing girls but also that they were iden­ti­cal. That feel­ing was short-lived when at 18 weeks we were told they had a dis­ease called twin to twin trans­fu­sion syn­drome (TTTS).” TTTS is a rare, se­ri­ous con­di­tion that can oc­cur when iden­ti­cal twins share a pla­centa. Ab­nor­mal blood ves­sel con­nec­tions form in the pla­centa and al­low blood to flow un­evenly be­tween the ba­bies. One twin − called the donor – be­comes de­hy­drated, and the other − called the re­cip­i­ent − de­vel­ops high blood pres­sure and pro­duces too much urine and over­fills the am­ni­otic sac. If left un­treated, it can be fa­tal for both twins.

Danielle said: “At 19 weeks at a scan we no­ticed the fluid was start­ing to even it­self out and a fur­ther scan a week later con­firmed this.

“But on May 23 the fluid had switched from Lacey to Lexi. By this time it was too late and the doc­tors be­came con­cerned about Lacey’s heart rate and that Lexi wasn’t mov­ing as much, so they de­liv­ered.”

Lexi was born weigh­ing 2lbs 3oz and two min­utes later Lacey was born weigh­ing 1lb 14oz. They were rushed straight to NICU.

Danielle said: “Af­ter five hours we were called by the doc­tor and taken to see Lexi. We were told there was no hope for sta­bil­is­ing her.

“We held her for a short time then she fell asleep for­ever at 9.17pm in the com­fort of her daddy’s arms.” Lacey re­mained in hos­pi­tal for a fur­ther six-and-a-half weeks, fi­nally get­ting home on July 7, to be with her brothers and sis­ters – John-Wil­liam, Ali­cia and Macken­zie.

“It’s four years since Lexi left us so we thought it would be a good way to show our grat­i­tude to the staff at Ninewells who looked af­ter her and Lacey,” said Danielle.

“The sup­port they gave us was in­cred­i­ble. We just want to give some­thing back to them.

“It helps with your grief to be able to do that. But it never gets any eas­ier, los­ing a child. You never get over it. You just learn to live with it.”

The fam­ily have set a fundrais­ing tar­get of £500, and will be sup­ported on the 20-mile-plus jour­ney by friends and fam­ily.

To do­nate, visit: ww.just­giv­ing. com/crowd­fund­ing/ninewells.

“You never get over los­ing a child – you just learn to live with it.”

Baby Lexi, John and Danielle Brown, and (right) chil­dren John-Wil­liam, Ali­cia, Macken­zie and Lacey, from Perth.

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