Baby Charlee’s Story

Every year, 4,800 babies are born at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) and hundreds of them will need the specialist care of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Please donate to give babies like Charlee their best chance this Christmas.

 

On the 1st of June, first-time parents Ali and Josh welcomed their baby girl Charlee at just 23 weeks. Weighing a tiny 560 grams, her parents’ wedding rings could fit around her arm like a bangle.

Newborn Charlee with her mum and dad’s wedding rings around her arm.

Ali passed her 20-week scan and, like any new mum, hoped she was in the clear! However, just shy of 23 weeks, Ali woke with severe pressure in her abdomen.

Frantic, Josh rushed her straight to hospital. In those late hours on a Sunday night came the terrifying news that she had bulging membranes – their fears turning immediately to the wellbeing of their unborn child, and the chances of her survival.

At just 22 weeks and 4 days, Ali was at serious risk of miscarriage.

Here, the goal was simple: try to keep baby Charlee in the womb as long as possible to give her the best chance of survival.

“All we could do was wait and hope for the best,” Ali said.

Just hours into her 23rd week, Ali awoke to the daunting discovery that her waters had broken. The baby was coming now!

Baby Charlee was born at 2:05pm on 1 June 2022, exactly 120 days before her due date. Ali and Josh touched Charlee’s face, then she was whisked away to the NICU by staff.

Charlee in NICU with her nasal cannula about to dose off to sleep.

Ali says the doctors and nurses provided the most incredible care in facilities that were friendly, welcoming, and comfortable, but we all know there is no place like home. After 89 long days in NICU and another 29 days in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), baby Charlee is home – just in time for Christmas.

“I’m just so ridiculously happy. When she was born, we didn’t know what to expect. That fact that she’s home, and she’s going to be home with us for Christmas, is just the best thing in the whole entire world.”

Charlee spending time with her loving parents Ali and Josh in the comfort of their own home.

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