A baby born four months ahead of her due date defied all odds by surviving to make it home in time for Christmas. Doctors didn’t believe she will make it, but her parent never gave up on her.
Sussie Bea Patrick was born on June 28, 22 weeks and four days into her mom’s pregnancy. She weighed only one pound and one ounce, and was the size of a chocolate bar. Doctors were not hopeful about Sussie’s possibilities, but the baby girl fought for her life.
Her parents, Jodie Marrin, 36, and Lee Patrick, 38, were told to prepare to say goodbye even before Sussie was born. Today, their daughter is the smallest baby ever cared for at Arrowe Park Hospital.
According to Patrick, Jodie had a healthy pregnancy. There were no signs that would lead the couple to believe she would have a premature baby. “Everything was fine with mum all the way through. It was sepsis - mum contracted it, or baby contracted a bug and passed it on to Jodie,” he explained.
"She was feeling unwell for about 24 hours. When it got to 11.30pm on June 27, I said we're going to the hospital, this isn't right. She was throwing up. Within 15 minutes she was giving birth in the back of the taxi to the hospital. Within about 15 minutes Sussie literally slid out.”
Because of everything that could have gone wrong with Sussie being born at 22 weeks, doctors warned Patrick and Marrin to prepare for the worst. "They said she wouldn't be breathing for long and might not look like we expected,” Patrick recalled. “They said they would let us be together as a family. She came out and gave a little whimper, so they started working on her.”
Sussie spend months in the neonatal unit at Arrowe Park. Some doctors tried to discourage the new parents by telling them that Sussie will not have a good quality of life and it was going to be hard to take care of her. But they didn’t care.
“We said 'look that's something that we will have to deal with but if she's fighting we have to fight. And she's here now."
The family lived at the Ronald McDonald House at Arrowe Park for three and a half months, and in that time, Sussie became quite the celebrity. All the nurses and other parents recognize her, and the staff created a beautiful relationship with the family.
Everyone was happy to learn that the baby would be able to spend her first Christmas at home with her family, being surrounded by love and joy for her life.
If Sussie was considered the smallest baby to be born in the U.K, little Manushi beat her for the title in Asia.
She was born 12 weeks early and weighed just 0.88lb, the size of a big Cadbury chocolate bar. Doctors didn’t think she would survive without brain damage. Her skin was paper thin at birth, and she couldn’t breathe properly because of her undeveloped organs.
However little Manushi beat all odds too, and she was released from the hospital at 6-months, weighing just 5.2lbs, but being a functional child.