Critically ill baby makes miracle recovery to watch parents marry

Parents who were told their baby daughter wouldn’t live to watch them walk down the aisle tie the knot a year later – after the tot made a miracle recovery

  • Vicky and Martin Carter, both 39, of Manchester, married on Saturday last week
  • Previously postponed wedding after being told their daughter was critically ill
  • Evie, one, was born 11 weeks early and became ill with Necrotising Enterocolitis
  • Medics warned couple their baby had hours to live but she survived against odds
  • After number of surgeries, Evie was well enough to see them walk down the aisle 

A couple whose baby daughter was given just hours to live have told of their joy after the little girl survived against the odds to join them on their wedding day. 

Vicky and Martin Carter, both 39, from Stalybridge in Tameside, Greater Manchester, were planning to get married over last year’s August bank holiday weekend before the bride found out she was expecting.

After a pregnancy riddled with complications, Vicky gave birth to Evie 11 weeks early, weighing just 2lb 7oz, after going into premature labour while out Christmas tree shopping in November 2017. 

But at just five weeks old, the tot became critically ill with a condition called necrotizing enterocolitis, and the couple braced themselves for the worst.

Vicky and Martin Carter, both 39, from Stalybridge in Tameside, Greater Manchester, got married on Saturday with their baby girl Evie, who was given just hours to live as a baby

Having been warned by doctors that their little girl probably wouldn’t live to watch them walk down the aisle, they postponed their big day. 

‘We were sat down by three surgeons who told us that we should probably begin to say our goodbyes,’ Vicky told the Manchester Evening News.

‘They didn’t expect her to last a couple of hours, but she did.’

Afterwards Vicky and Martin said it was touch-and-go for a few months, meaning they struggled to organise their big day and decided to postpone the nuptials.

‘If Evie didn’t pull through we didn’t want to have to think about sorting wedding stuff, and if she did then we needed to focus on her, not planning a wedding,’ Vicky explained.

Having been too poorly to leave the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for 13 days, Evie was deemed well enough to watch her mum and dad tie the knot on Saturday

Now one, Evie has proved the doctors wrong, having undergone several operations to help treat the number of serious conditions that affect her bowels and bladder.

And on August 17, having been too poorly to leave the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for 13 days, Evie was deemed well enough to watch her mum and dad tie the knot at their local church.

Vicky said it was a very traditional day, though neither of them stayed at their home the night before the wedding.

Vicky spent the night at Ronald McDonald House – charitable accommodation for families with sick children, situated over the road from where Evie was being treated – while Martin stayed at the hospital. The bride also got ready there before the ceremony

Vicky’s bridesmaids came to get ready with her and Evie, and a nurse from her daughter’s ward did her bridal make-up and helped the little one get dressed

The bride spent the night at Ronald McDonald House – charitable accommodation for families with sick children, situated over the road from where Evie was being treated – while Martin stayed at the hospital. 

Vicky’s bridesmaids came to get ready with her and Evie, and a nurse from her daughter’s ward did her bridal make-up and helped the little one get dressed, which the mother said was ‘really lovely’.

She added that the staff at the hospital have been incredible, with a group of them even organising her a hen do. 

Vicky and Martin said their big day was ‘incredible’, and the best thing about it was having their daughter there with them

But the highlight of their ‘incredible’ big day was having their miracle little girl there with them to celebrate. 

‘Ronald McDonald House really has been amazing with us – if it hadn’t have been for them over the last few years then everything would have been so much harder,’ Vicky told the news outlet. 

The family are raising money for the charity; to donate, visit their Just Giving page. 

What is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)?

NEC is a serious disease that affects the intestines of babies and is most common in premature infants.

The cause remains unclear, but doctors believe intestinal tissues may be weakened from a lack of oxygen and blood flow.

Bacteria gets into the intestinal wall, which can eventually cause a perforation of the intestines.

The intestines can no longer hold waste so bacteria and stool can leak into the abdomen which causes infection and even death.

According to Stanford Health, NEC occurs in up to five percent of babies in newborn intensive care units.

Onset of the disease typically occurs in the first two weeks of life and, among those diagnosed, about 25 per cent die. 

Treatment primarily consists of stopping formula feedings or breast feedings to give the bowel time to rest.

Babies are given IV fluids, a tube to removed excess fluid from the stomach and antibiotics to fight infection.

If the bowel is perforated, emergency surgery is needed to resect – or cut away – the dead portion.

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