A spe­cial day for Zoe

Zoe weighed 2lbs 14oz and was 12 weeks pre­ma­ture

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

It was the first day at school for hun­dreds of kids across Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang this week, but it was an ex­tra spe­cial day for lit­tle Zoe O’Don­nell.

Zoe (5) was born 12 weeks pre­ma­ture, weigh­ing just 2lb 14 but she proved to be a real fighter and started at St Colum­bkille’s this week,

And she made sure her doll, Libby, was with her to en­joy the start of a new chap­ter in her life at school.

Hun­dreds of kids across Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang en­joyed their first day at school on Mon­day - but for the fam­ily of one lit­tle girl, it was an ex­tra spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

Zoe O’Don­nell (5), from Mil­rig Road, was just like any other pupil when she checked in at St Colum­bkille’s Pri­mary, but it was a day her fam­ily feared might not hap­pen.

Zoe was born 12 weeks pre­ma­ture on May 23, 2010.

She weighed just 2lb 14 , spent 48 hours on a ven­ti­la­tor and a to­tal of seven weeks in the spe­cial care baby unit at the Princess Royal Ma­ter­nity.

Her mum Tracey (36) and dad, Alan (35), took her home five weeks be­fore her due date of Au­gust 10, still only weigh­ing 4lb 9.

But her progress since then has been re­mark­able, and she started at St Colum­bkille’s with­out a hint of the or­deal she had to go through in the first days of her life.

Proud Tracey said: “It was quite a day, af­ter ev­ery­thing she had been through, to see her go­ing to school was in­cred­i­ble.

“She’s done great, and has men­tally de­vel­oped re­ally well, as that’s some­thing you worry about in pre­ma­ture ba­bies.

“It hasn’t held her back at all, she’s quite a bright wee thing.”

Tracey, who works as a nurse, had suf­fered from bleed­ing and ab­dom­i­nal pains dur­ing the preg­nancy and spent much of it go­ing back and for­ward to the Princess Royal.

The day she went into Labour, she had ac­tu­ally had a growth scan that showed no prob­lems with lit­tle Zoe.

Af­ter ini­tially be­ing told she had an 80 per cent chance of get­ting to 37 weeks, Tracey sud­denly ex­pe­ri­enced pains. Just 34 min­utes later Zoe was de­liv­ered.

She was born with cord pro­lapse, which means the um­bil­i­cal cord comes out first mak­ing it harder for the baby to breath. Like many pre­ma­ture ba­bies, she also had a hole in her heart.

Look­ing back, Tracey said: “If she hadn’t been de­liv­ered so quickly, she wouldn’t have sur­vived.

“When she was de­liv­ered, there were about 40 peo­ple in the room and alarms were go­ing off. It was very sur­real, and pretty fright­en­ing.

“She was able to breath on her own af­ter two days, but there were a few scary mo­ments when she stopped breath­ing. That was very scary, when the alarms started go­ing off.

“Peo­ple were giv­ing us cards con­grat­u­lat­ing us but we re­ally didn’t know if she was go­ing to live.”

Zoe will have plenty of com­pany at St Colum­bkille’s with some of her friends from Glen­burgh Nurs­ery also mak­ing the step up.

Big brother Liam (7) will also be there hav­ing just started pri­mary four.

Tracey said: “She re­ally en­joyed her first day. Be­cause Liam is there, she al­ready knows the school and she has a few friends from nurs­ery.

“Her cousin is also in the class. He was meant to be her big cousin as he was due in June 2010, but now he’s her lit­tle one as she was born be­fore him!”

If she hadn’t been de­liv­ered so quickly, she wouldn’t have sur­vived

Broth­erly love Zoe will have big brother Liam look­ing out for her at school

Lit­tle mir­a­cle Tracey holds Zoe just a few days af­ter she was born

Fighter Zoe weighed just 2lb 14 when she was born

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