An isles baby born at only 24 weeks and weighing just 580g has celebrated her first birthday.
Proud parents Zerqua and Mansha Mohammed Shahid brought their daughter Hafsa to visit staff at both the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway and the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow, to pay tribute to those who looked after them after Hafsa was born dangerously premature on Father’s Day 2016. Hafsa was so small that she could fit into her mum’s hand.
Zerqua first became aware that Hafsa’s arrival could be imminent when her membranes broke on June 9th. She attended the maternity department at the Western Isles Hospital and was flown by air ambulance that day to the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital, accompanied by head of midwifery Catherine Macdonald.
Following the birth Zerqua and Hafsa were kept in different intensive care units but mum and baby were linked by web cam so that they could always see each other.
After 134 days of specialist care in Glasgow Hafsa — which aptly means ‘baby lioness’ — was strong enough to come back home to Stornoway.
Zerqua said: “This is a very special birthday for us and we plan on celebrating it with family and friends.
“Hafsa’s development is coming on well and her weight is now up to 13lb, which I put down to her reaping the benefits of being breastfed from birth. She doesn’t really have any complications, although she does have weak bones, is taking bowel medication and has no peripheral vision due to eye surgery.
“Throughout Hafsa’s progress we have been so grateful for the help we have received from NHS staff, both here in Stornoway and in Glasgow, and we can’t thank them enough. To show our support we decided to fundraise, with all monies going direct to the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital’s Neonatal Unit.”
Head of midwifery Catherine Macdonald commented: “Hafsa is such a happy and pretty little girl, it’s wonderful to see her enjoying her first birthday this week and what a year she has had. When we recall how fragile and small she was when she was born, that’s now all behind her and there’s no stopping this little girl as we watch her develop and grow in her second year.”