Ella was born at 26 weeks gestation weighing only 506 grams and spent 19 weeks in the Neonatal Unit in University Maternity Hospital Limerick.
As a way of saying thank you, her parents, Mark and Lisa, set up a Gofundme page for her first birthday where they raised a staggering €8,020 for the Neonatal Unit. With this money, Ella’s mum, Lisa, has written a book about Ella’s story that parents can read to their babies in the incubators and cots. Parents are encouraged to read and speak to their premature babies as much as possible as it has a very soothing effect on them. As Ella loves books, both her mum Lisa and the Neonatal Unit have decided that this book would be a nice touch in remembering Ella and also providing a story of hope.
One-year-old Ella Blennerhassett from Lisnagry, Co. Limerick, is the miracle baby who has spent the first year of her life battling health complications against all the odds. In celebration of her first birthday this month, Ella’s parents Mark and Lisa have launched a Go Fund Me page in aid of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the University Maternity Hospital Limerick.
Ella was born last year over 3 months premature, weighing just 500 grams, making her the smallest baby to be born at the University Maternity Hospital in 2019. She spent the first 7 weeks of her life on life support and would continue to battle a range of health complications throughout her first year of life.
Some of the health difficulties Ella has endured include lung infections, low sodium levels, blood transfusions, retinopathy of prematurity in her eyes, low sugar levels, an open heart vessel, and several other life-threatening scares.
When she was 16 days old, Ella stopped breathing and her heart rate dropped so suddenly that her parents, Mark and Lisa Blennerhassett, were called to the hospital at 5.30 am for fear that Ella was about to lose her life. With the life-saving work of the staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Ella survived after 15 minutes of CPR and five shots of adrenaline.
Lisa, Mark and Ella have decided to give this book to parents of premature babies in the unit. The book has been illustrated by the talented Ken Coleman and is titled ‘Once Tiny, Forever Strong’. The family have also decided to gift a piece of artwork to the parents accommodation room in the current refurbishment of the Neonatal Unit.
Text copied from www.ilovelimerick.ie