Michelle and Bradley Thomas were excited to be expecting their second daughter and were enjoying a normal, happy pregnancy.

Chloe, their first daughter, had arrived early at 28 weeks, so Michelle was being closely monitored. At 25 weeks, she noticed some spotting. An appointment at her local hospital confirmed she was in labour.

Michelle comments: “Although Chloe had been early, there had been no signs to indicate that anything was wrong with my second pregnancy, so we were really shocked when we were told I was in labour.

“We were blue-lighted to Birmingham Women’s Hospital for the specialist care I needed and to give our second daughter the best chance of survival. It was all very surreal and happened so quickly.”

Isabella, was born at just under 26 weeks. The first 18 weeks of her life were spent on the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and once Isabella was well and stable, she was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital via the hospital’s KIDS/NTS service, a mobile intensive care unit, as she required emergency surgery on her bowel.

The surgery was a success, and Isabella is now seven-months-old and enjoys smiling, playing and lots of attention. 

Michelle adds: “Isabella is still under the care of the children’s hospital for a number of conditions and has recently undergone her fifth operation, but we know that she is in the best possible place.

“We can’t thank the two hospitals enough. Without their combined expertise, we might not be where we are today.”

Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity exists to make sure there are more stories like Isabella’s. The charity helps fund life-saving equipment, research to ensure more tiny lives are saved and amenities to make a family’s experience at its hospital the best it can possibly be.