Los­ing Lach­lan was dev­as­tat­ing but his spirit lives on in Lily

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Tara Fitz­patrick

A young mum was dev­as­tated when a pre­ma­ture birth led to the death of one of her twins.

Ch­eryl O’Don­nell de­liv­ered lit­tle Lily and Lach­lan Fin­ni­gan at just 25 weeks af­ter she was re­ferred to Wishaw Gen­eral for spe­cial­ist treat­ment.

The 32-year-old had been di­ag­nosed with pre- eclamp­sia at 21 weeks and warned that she wouldn’t be able to carry to full term.

De­spite suc­cess­fully giv­ing birth to the twins, who weighed less than two pounds each, the tots were so pre­ma­ture that they y faced a bat­tle to sur­vive.

Af­ter a brave fight, Lach­lan an trag­i­cally died just five ve months later.

Ch­eryl said: “It was s heart­break­ing. To­tally y heart­break­ing.

“At the be­gin­ning it was s ac­tu­ally Lily that me and my y part­ner Gor­don were most st wor­ried about be­cause she e seemed to be suf­fer­ing from m a lot of com­pli­ca­tions.

“But she just got stronger r and stronger while Lach­lan n didn’t.

“They both had to bat­tle e through so much af­ter they y were born and it was 100 0 days be­fore we were even n able to hold them for the first rst time.” time”

Af­ter 15 weeks, Lily was well enough to go home but Lach­lan never gained the strength to leave hos­pi­tal. He passed away in Fe­bru­ary this year.

Ch­eryl said: “It was a re­ally hard time for us but the staff at Wishaw Gen­eral could not have been bet­ter.

“They helped us make some of the hard­est de­ci­sions imag­in­able when Lach­lan wasn’t re­spond­ing to treat­ments and we had to de­cide whether it was worth putting him through any more.

“Los­ing Lach­lan was ter­ri­ble but Lily is do­ing so well now be­cause of the care she re­ceived at Wishaw Gen­eral and she is keep­ing Lach­lan’s spirit alive.”

On Septem­ber 11, Ch­eryl and Gor­don, from East Kil­bride, re­leased bal­loons at Lach­lan’s grave in mem­ory of the tot and in cel­e­bra­tion of Lily’s first birth­day.

Ch­eryl said: “Orig­i­nally it was meant to be a small thing but we ac­tu­ally ended up with over 100 peo­ple there cel­e­brat­ing with us.

“We had a cake with Lach­lan and Lily’s names on it – it was gor­geous.”

In hon­our of World Pre­ma­tu­rity Day on Novem­ber 17, Ch­eryl is rais­ing funds for Wishaw’s Neona­tal Unit.

She is cur­rently train­ing to be a beauty ther­a­pist and plans to p host a “p “pam­per day” at the ho hos­pi­tal on Fri­day for pa pa­tients and staff.

The beauty tre treat­ments, in­clud­ing m mas­sages, man­i­cures an and pedi­cures, will be fre free of charge with any do do­na­tions made go­ing tow to­wards the hos­pi­tal.

S She said: “I want to giv give a pam­per day to he help the mums in the un unit be­cause I know how hor­ri­ble it can be and how dif­fi­cult it is to be there.

““And I re­ally want to g give back be­cause I cann can­not tell you just how sup­port­ive the neona neona­tal team at Wishaw is.”

Ch­eryl and Gor­don started a Face­book blog called A Pre­ma­ture Jour­ney to help keep a diary of the twins early months and raise aware­ness of pre­ma­ture births for other fam­i­lies.

The pam­per day is not the first time Ch­eryl has raised money for Wishaw’s neona­tal unit, hav­ing taken part in the Kilt Walk in April and rais­ing over £3000.

She said: “We smashed our tar­get and I’m so thank­ful to all our friends and fam­ily who do­nated.”

To­gether Mum Ch­eryl with Lily and, right, the birth­day cakes Above Lit­tle Lach­lan who lost his fight for life

Kilt walk suc­cess Ch­eryl and Gor­don af­ter the Kilt Walk

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