Miracle baby starts school

Miracle baby starts school

Six years ago, 27-year-old Linsey Johnston was pregnant with her first child. Her pregnancy had been progressing well until her 20 week scan showed cause for concern. 

Linsey was immediately referred to see Dr Glenn Gardener at Mater’s Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine and an MRI returned heartbreaking results—Linsey’s baby was smaller than average and the baby’s brain was under developed.

The first time mum was distraught by news that her baby could have brain damage. 

“My maternal instincts kicked in and I went into survival mode thinking that I would do anything to save this baby,” Linsey said.

“It was such a horrifying experience in my life, especially because I have no immediate family here in Australia.”

Four weeks later, Linsey began suffering headaches and her blood pressure was at an alarmingly high level.

She spent a few days at Mater Mothers where tests showed the baby’s umbilical cord blood flow was absent and Linsey was developing preeclampsia. 

At her 27 week check-up, Linsey was admitted to hospital and placed on bed rest, where she underwent tests to see if her baby had cerebral palsy or a similar genetic disorder. 

If this was the case, it was possible the baby would not survive her own birth. Linsey had a 24-hour wait for the results. A wait that was emotionally paralysing.

Thankfully, the results showed the baby did not have any genetic disorders.

One week later, with the baby’s umbilical blood flow worsening, Linsey was told she would need to deliver her baby as soon as possible. 

Before delivery, she was given 24 hours of intravenous Magnesium Sulfate to protect her baby’s brain during premature labour—a procedure that can be quite painful for the mother. 

“The nurses told me most women demand to have the Magnesium Sulfate drip removed after one hour because it is that unbearably painful,” Linsey said.

“But I was willing to do absolutely anything to save my baby. She was my everything."

Saphire Lee was delivered at 28 weeks gestation on 13 January 2010, weighing just a little more than 800 grams. 

She was rushed to Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit where she spent a turbulent 105 days in hospital on ventilation because of her lungs had not fully developed. 

Linsey said there were times where she thought her daughter’s tiny lungs would not hold out. 

“Every day I would spend hours watching over Saphire and there were a few times where she stopped breathing and needed urgent resuscitation,” Linsey said.

“It was a difficult and emotional journey but I am so thankful that the medical staff at Mater Mothers’ were so supportive.

“I had no immediate family to support me through this journey and the staff at Mater Mothers became like family. I could not fault them.”

Today, Saphire is a happy and healthy fivey-year-old who was ecstatic to start her first day of prep in January.


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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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