‘We don’t know what fu­ture holds for our dar­ling Ruby’

Ex­clu­sive

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Front Page - By Gerry War­ren gwar­ren@thek­m­group.co.uk @Ger­ry_war­ren

Baby Ruby clings to life on a ven­ti­la­tor as her des­per­ate par­ents pray their “lit­tle fighter” will beat the odds.

The five-month-old has spent her en­tire life in hospi­tal af­ter be­ing born pre­ma­turely in Oc­to­ber, weigh­ing just 3lb.

Now Ash­ley Gawler and Gareth Carlile have launched a des­per­ate search for some­one with knowl­edge of the rare con­di­tions threat­en­ing their daugh­ter’s life.

The cou­ple, who both work for East Kent Audi, in Can­ter­bury, have been told Ruby is suf­fer­ing with phrenic nerve palsy and bi­lat­eral di­aphrag­matic paral­y­sis. Both can se­verely af­fect a suf­ferer’s abil­ity to breathe un­aided.

“We just want to hear from any­one, ei­ther some­one med­i­cal or a par­ent, who might know about her con­di­tions,” said Ash­ley.

“They are quite rare and the doc­tors haven’t got much ex­pe­ri­ence of other pa­tients and are find­ing it dif­fi­cult to treat her.”

Ash­ley, 20, has been a per­ma­nent fix­ture at her daugh­ter’s bed­side since she was trans­ferred from Mar­gate to St Thomas’s Hospi­tal in Lon­don at just 17 days old.

Fi­ance Gareth, 29, jug­gles work at the deal­er­ship, where he is busi­ness man­ager, with reg­u­lar trips to the cap­i­tal.

For­mer Lang­ton Girls’ pupil Ash­ley said: “The joy of hav­ing our first baby is not what I imag­ined it would be. All the nor­mal things of hav­ing a baby that you look for­ward to just don’t hap­pen. It’s very stress­ful be­cause it’s very un­clear what the fu­ture holds for her.”

Ash­ley, who met Gareth at work, where she is a re­cep­tion- ist, says fam­ily and friends have been a huge sup­port to them dur­ing the or­deal.

Her mother, Ali­son Lan­g­ley, is of­ten at her side in hospi­tal, with older sis­ter, Liv Gawler, 22, also post­ing an ap­peal about Ruby’s plight on Face­book.

“I did it as a last re­sort be­cause we are des­per­ate to try to find out about Ruby’s con­di­tion,”said Liv, an aca­demic men­tor at the Spires Academy in Sturry.

“The sup­port has been amaz­ing. What Ash­ley and Gareth and the fam­ily are go­ing through is hor­rific and we wouldn’t wish it on any­one. Ruby has fought on this far and we will never give up fight­ing for her.”

Ash­ley and Gareth have de­layed any plans to marry, putting their all into fight­ing for Ruby.

“Ob­vi­ously our mar­riage plans are all on hold as ev­ery­thing is fo­cused on Ruby’s fu­ture,” Ash­ley said. “We have nearly lost her a few times but she is a real lit­tle fighter.”

Any­one with ex­pe­ri­ence of the con­di­tions Ruby is suf­fer­ing from can email liv_­gawler@hot­mail. co.uk

Mother Ash­ley Gawler with baby Ruby, whose con­di­tions mean it is dif­fi­cult for her to breathe un­aided

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