A pregnant mum given a 50% chance of survival after contracting Covid-19 and passing it on to her newborn is celebrating today after they both returned home safe and sound.
Katherine Dawson was forced to deliver via emergency caesarian after testing positive and her daughter Ruby became one of the only babies born with the deadly disease.
Following the birth Katherine, 36, was placed into an induced coma and put on a ventilator fighting for her life, with doctors giving her a 50/50 chance of survival.
Little Ruby, who was two months premature, came out weighing only 4lb 12oz and was immediately treated for coronavirus, which she caught from her mum.
But this week, after 37 days in hospital, the pair were given the all clear and released to reunite at home with dad Stuart and the couple’s two other daughters.
Heartwarming photos show the beaming trio leaving Blackpool Victoria Hospital to a guard of honour from nurses and doctors giving a rapturous round of applause.
Ruby is the youngest Covid-19 patient they had treated and thought to be one of the few babies in the world to be born with the deadly disease.
Dad Stuart said: “I owe my future to the staff at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
“I thought I was going to be a widower looking after young children on my own, but they saved her life and Ruby’s life.
“I could not visit either of them because of the Coronavirus and I had 26 days of waiting, worrying and stress.
As she left the hospital, Kathrine, told the staff that she “owed her life” to them and that she would “never be able to thank them” for what they did for her and her family.
The ordeal started in March when 32-week pregnant Kathrine was taken to A&E with what she thought was a chest infection.
But after a swab it was discovered she had coronavirus and a decision was made to deliver the baby by caesarean section to give them both the best chance.
Ruby was born on April 1 weighing 4lb 12oz and was also COVID-19 positive.
Kathrine’s condition deteriorated and she had to be put into an induced coma and put onto a ventilator. Her chances of survival were 50/50 at that time.
Blackpool Victoria consultant Dr Jason Cupitt said: “It was a very challenging case and we were very concerned that she might not make it.
“She was deeply sedated and we weren’t seeing much change, but then, five days later, there was a spark of light at the end of the tunnel as her oxygen levels started to improve.
“This was a particularly emotional case for everyone.”
Dr Cupitt added. “Kathrine and Ruby touched everyone’s heart and she is someone I will always remember.”
Visiting restrictions meant Kathrine’s husband Stuart could not be with her and Dr Cupitt kept him updated daily on Katherine’s condition and the neonatal department sent him a daily diary on Ruby’s progress.
Stuart said: “Dr Jason’s updates and the daily diaries from neonatal were my lifeline.
“Without those diaries Ruby and I would have been strangers, but when I eventually saw her I felt I knew her.”
Before Kathrine was put onto the ventilator she, Stuart and their two daughters, Grace, 5 and Ava, 11 months, shared one last emotional video call.
“It was a bit like saying goodbye, it could have been the last phone call,” Stuart said.
“But the staff at Blackpool Hospital changed our future, how do you thank a person who has saved your wife’s life?”
Head of Midwifery at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Nicola Parry, said: “We are just thrilled that the Dawson family have all been reunited.
“It has been a tricky journey for them and, as a Families Division, we have surrounded that family.
“But it has also been a tricky journey for the staff and I am immensely proud of everyone for using all of their care, compassion, professionalism and technical abilities.
“What we have found is this case has united the team right across the hospital and through this joint experience we have all surrounded the Dawson family giving the best treatment and care.
“Their story sets everything good about the humanity shown by staff at this Trust and we wish the Dawson family every happiness and health as they go forward in their life together, we are just delighted at this outcome.”