Two-year-old Delinda Brown is a little girl with an amazing spirit for survival

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Her parents Sharyn and Glenn Brown were travelling around Australia when they found out they were expecting twin girls.

But while visiting Port Macquarie, Sharyn went into premature labour—four months before her due date.

Less than two hours later, Rachael was born.

“After Rachael was born the doctors told me I had to lay perfectly still,” said Sharyn. “They were going to try and keep her twin sister Delinda in-utero for a few more weeks.”

But the couple’s youngest daughter had plans of her own and was delivered exactly one hour and one minute after her sister.

Within hours, Sharyn and her daughters were en route to the Neonatal Critical Care Unit at Mater Mothers’ Hospital in Brisbane.

“By the time we arrived, Rachael was quite unwell,” Sharyn said. The infection that had caused the twins’ premature birth—had taken hold.

Eighteen hours later, Sharyn and Glenn made the heartbreaking decision to turn Rachael’s life support off.

Following the loss of her sister, Delinda’s weight plummeted to 550 grams and she remained in Mater’s Neonatal Critical Care Unit for four and a half months—spending 12 weeks in intensive care.

“In the first six weeks, she would crash anywhere from two to three times on a good day but there were days when she crashed six times,” Sharyn said.

“A lot of Delinda’s issues were just that she was a tiny person in a big world.

“It took 19 days for us to get our first hold of her and she was tiny. It was a five minute cuddle and we got our first official family photo but those five minutes were worth everything, to actually hold her.”

Eventually the day came when Glenn and Sharyn could take their precious girl home.

“It was all very surreal I suppose; it was the first time we’d had nobody around us,” Sharyn said.

Despite the good news, Delinda’s fight was far from over; she remained on oxygen for 18 months and was also diagnosed profoundly deaf—a side effect of her prematurity.

She has since started learning sign language and in February underwent cochlear implant surgery.

“She’s as happy as Larry. She doesn’t stop smiling and it doesn’t matter what kind of day it is, she’s always happy which makes you happy as well,” Glenn said.

“You go through a lot but when you see her smile, it doesn’t matter what kind of day you’ve had, it’s great.”

Sharyn and Glenn are thankful for Mater’s unwavering support and care shown during Rachael and Delinda’s time in hospital.

“I couldn’t do their job in a million years; they are amazing at what they do.”

Proceeds from Mater’s maternity and baby care products support Mater Little Miracles to help make little miracles happen for babies and children like Delinda.

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