This tiny baby who was born at just 25 weeks weighing the same as a pint of milk is thriving thanks to a stranger’s life saving donation.
Phoenix Teanby was severely premature, arriving just a week after the UK legal abortion date, and didn’t have enough red protein in her blood to survive.
Terrified parents Tori, 27, and Connor, 29, said they watched as their little fighter got weaker and weaker – her skin turning see-through until they could see her veins.
At just seven days old she was given the first of three blood transfusions which saved her life, and photos taken just an hour apart show the profound impact it had.
Their “pinked up princess” fought back, and is now home, happy and healthy after 12 weeks in hospital – where she had two more donations.
Smitten Tori, a civil servant from Essex said: “My head spun while the doctor had several attempts at cannulating Phoenix – two of which failed due to her tiny veins collapsing.
“I felt sick as the nurses hung up the blood from an unknown, incredible donor who probably will never know that they saved my babies life.
“After an hour I peeked inside and was astounded by the colour difference.
“My little miracle had gone from pale and lethargic with veins showing on her stomach, to a pinked up princess.
“By the time the transfusion was finished she looked and acted like a different baby.
“I often wonder if the person that gave blood that ultimately ended up in Phoenix has any idea that they saved my baby’s life and how thankful we are.”
Tori had issues during the pregnancy, including awful morning sickness and bleeding.
Tori said: “My water broke super early, only a trickle but I wasn’t sure so I popped up to the hospital to double check and they swabbed and said the waters had broke so I got blue lighted to a level 3 care hospital that had the level of care for me and baby”
The pair got rushed to the William Harvey Hospital in Kent and not long after Tori was having contractions.
Tori added: “Midwives kept telling me it wasn’t labour, my cervix was closed, Connor went home to Essex at this point (from William Harvey in Kent) to get us some more clothes as we knew I was being kept in inevitably. My mum and dad came up to visit and I was in loads of pain and only being given paracetamol.
“All of a sudden I felt urge to push and they rushed in, presses the emergency buzzer and about 30 people were in the room. Connor got back 20 minutes before I gave birth to her!”
Tori then gave birth to beautiful baby phoenix naturally as once she felt the urge to push the baby came out within a speedy 10 minutes. So active labour was very short.
But after only 25 weeks baby Phoenix was born on January 25, weighing just 1lb 8oz (670g).
In seven days the baby got paler and more tired. Her oxygen requirement went up daily as her haemoglobin levels went down.
At just seven days old, because she was extremely premature Phoenix’s haemoglobin levels dropped so low she need an immediate transfusion.
Haemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells which carries oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues.
Her transfusion took six hours – and Tori and Connor didn’t move from the side of the incubator.
While the nurses carried out observations hourly and kept a close eye on her, they explained that there are risks that come with transferring to such a tiny baby.
There could be problems with the IV line. If this occurs, there can be temporary swelling or bruising.
But the transfusion had nearly instant results – and she perked up within an hour.
Phoenix had three blood transfusions during her 12 weeks in hospital which ultimately saved her life.
”I’ve never given blood before due to my fear of veins,” said Tori.
“But something I promised myself whilst sitting next to her hooked up to a new bag of blood, is that I will now be regularly giving blood.
“It’s not enough that my fears of something so silly, stop me from doing the ultimate good deed.
“I dread to think what could have happened to my Phoenix if people didn’t give blood.”
Tori hasn’t been well enough to give blood but Connor, an estimator, is now a regular donor.