‘Pocket rocket’ Bridget ready for first day of school

‘Pocket rocket’ Bridget ready for first day of school

A tiny Queensland ‘pocket rocket’ born 14 weeks early and weighing less than 1kg will start school this week – with her doting twin brothers by her side.

Bridget de Beer was born via an emergency caesarean section at Mater Mothers’ Hospital in South Brisbane in 2018 and spent two months receiving around-the-clock lifesaving care in the Neonatal Critical Care Unit.

Now her eight-year-old brothers Jonty and Cooper, who were born two months premature at Mater Mothers’ Hospital, are excited to walk their little sister to school on her first day.

Across the state, an estimated 12,000 Mater babies are expected to start school on Monday (22 January).

Parents Jacalyn and Divan de Beer, from Spring Mountain in Ipswich, are gearing up for an emotional day with their three children now attending Springfield Lakes State School.

“Bridget can’t wait to start school,” said Mrs de Beer, who also teaches at the school.

“She is shy at first, but once she feels comfortable she is a bubbly, friendly and energetic little girl with lots to say!”

Mrs de Beer said she was proud of Bridget’s fight for survival after she was born at just 26 weeks into her pregnancy due to preterm labour.

Born with a hole in her heart which self-corrected, Mrs de Beer described Bridget as a “determined little fighter who never give up”.

“Bridget is now five years old, weighed 920 grams at birth, and is now 22kg,” Mrs de Beer said.

“She’s actually quite tall and has a great attitude towards starting school.

“When we went to buy her uniform, she ended up wearing it for half the day. It’s going to be a big, exciting milestone starting her learning journey!

“I will have my game face on. I know I will get emotional when I tuck her into bed the night before.”

Each year nearly 2,000 very sick and premature babies receive round-the-clock specialist care from the multidisciplinary team in Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit.

Mrs de Beer said she was grateful for the medical teams who cared for her babies during their time in hospital.

“Mater was our second home,” Mrs de Beer said.

“I was on bedrest with the boys for three months before they arrived, when they were cared for in the neonatal unit for two months.

“When Bridget was born it felt like we were coming home again – she ended up staying for three months.”

With a passion for drawing and craft, Mrs de Beer said Bridget was so excited to lace up her school shoes and meet her new classmates.



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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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