A premature baby stuck in an American hospital for five months with a 10 per cent chance of survival is now thriving back in the UK.
Lily Borrill, who has just celebrated her first birthday, was born prematurely in Baltimore, US, at 25 weeks, while her parents were on holiday.
Weighing just 1lb 11oz, baby Lily hit the headlines back in August last year as her parents battled to pay her crippling medical bill – having not taken out a staggering £4,000 insurance policy for their 10 day trip.
The parents were asked to cover the medical cost of £23,000 after Lily needed around the clock care and was resuscitated nine times.
Her parents launched a fundraising campaign in a bid to pay off the huge medical bill.
But having spent five months in America while Lily regained her strength Yeridiana Chazares, 29, and her partner, Louis Borrill, 22, have since returned to their life in Scunthorpe – and are now celebrating Lily’s first birthday at home in England.
Lily, who has just celebrated her first birthday, was born in Baltimore, US, at 25 weeks gestation weighing just 1lb 11oz ,was given just a 10 per cent chance of survival. (Pictured: Lily with her mother Yeridiana Chazares)
Yeridiana Chazares (left) and her partner, Louis Borrill, (right) are ecstatic having returned home and they’re settling into life in their Scunthorpe home having spent five months in America while Lily (middle) regained strength
They are sharing their story to give other parents going through similar struggles some hope.
Yeridiana said: ‘Her first birthday was a celebration of her strength. We kept thinking “Wow you did it Lily, you really made it”.’
‘Watching her learn new things is so emotional. It takes us back to the hospital where we did not know if she would be able to do the things she does with such ease now.
‘She continues to amaze us and we feel so grateful to have her home happy and healthy.
‘We had only planned to go to the US for two weeks. I went to the doctors before flying and they cleared it and said it was safe.
‘We ended up having to stay in America for five months.’
Louis and Yeridiana had been visiting her family in Baltimore for a surprise baby shower in August last year.
But after she woke up the following day with what seemed to be a strong fever, they decided to go to hospital.
Baby Lily was born the following morning – well ahead of the November due date.
When Lily was born she was not moving and could not breathe. After 15 minutes, a doctor managed to put in a breathing tube – saving her life
Yeridiana suffered a pregnancy complication known as PPROM – preterm premature rupture of the membranes – where the sac surrounding her baby broke.
She needed an emergency C-section, meaning her daughter was born three months prematurely, in a hospital in America, thousands of miles away from home.
Due to being so premature, Lily also still has a vessel called a Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), which babies lose when they are born.
The couple said doctors had told them that Lily would not be ‘out of the woods’ for around three or four months and only then can she be discharged and they can return home to Scunthorpe.
Yeridiana said: ‘I’m originally from America so we were visiting family during our trip, they live in a small apartment where we were able to stay at first, but we were unable to stay there long, so we had to start staying at hotels which cost us even more.
‘We were lucky that we also had family and friends who helped us with some costs, we also set up a Go Fund Me which raised over £4,600 [$6,000].
The young family spent five months in hospital so Lily (pictured) could regain enough to receive a heart surgery before being allowed to fly back to the UK
Lily (middle) is getting stronger everyday but there was a time when her parents Louis (left and Yeridiana (right) didn’t know if she would make it
Yeridiana Chazares (left) was stunned when doctors said she was going into labour – three months before Lily (right) was due
The couple did not have medical insurance as it was around £4,000 because Yeridiana was pregnant, just for those ten days. The risk of not paying for this backfired.
However, there was some good news, as Yeridiana said: ‘As Lily was born in the US, she was classed as an American citizen, so we were also able to get insurance which covered 40 per cent of the bills.’
What is PPROM? When a mother’s waters break before 37 weeks
Preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) is a pregnancy complication that occurs when an expectant mother’s waters break before 37 weeks. Once the amniotic sac has broken, it raises the risk the baby will be born prematurely, or the mother or baby will suffer an infection.
PPROM affects just three per cent of pregnancies in the UK and US, but is thought to be responsible for around 30-to-40 per cent of premature births.
Its cause is usually unknown. Previously having a preterm birth, an infection of the reproductive system or vaginal bleeding raises the risk, as does smoking during pregnancy.
Symptoms can include:
- A sudden gush of fluid from the vagina
- Leaking fluid
- Feeling wet in your underwear or vagina
After five months of fighting in hospital to become strong enough to receive a heart surgery – which closed a heart valve so that she could be on a small enough amount of oxygen to be able to fly back to the UK- the young family were finally able to return to their home.
The first time mum said: ‘The entire experience was mentally draining. Some days she would stop breathing, we walked in and had to watch her be resuscitated.
‘We could never be confident that everything was going to be alright, every day was different. We never wanted to get our hopes up too high. It was heart breaking.’
Since returning home, Lily is getting stronger all the time, her parents are so relieved to have a happy and healthy baby girl at home with them.
Proud mum, Yeridiana, said: ‘She is doing really great now, she is fully off oxygen and she has learnt to crawl. She is working on holding herself up.
‘As she is preterm, we have to help her a lot to try and catch her up to kids who are full term. We are so proud of her.
‘Having her home is so surreal. I am still working on not being so paranoid and just enjoying every moment. She had to be resuscitated so many times I still find myself checking her breathing to make sure.
‘It is like when you get that taste of almost losing your child, you never ever want to feel that again.’
The family have recently celebrated Lily’s first birthday, 6 August, with a Moana themed party, which was a miracle for them as they were told she had less than 10 per cent chance of surviving.
Yeridiana said: ‘She was so happy the entire time on her birthday, playing with her presents and eating cake. She is really starting to show us more of her personality.
‘On her birthday we did a side by side of her when she was born and the nappy she first wore, it was the size of her feet. It was nice to show just how far she has come.’