Baby survives despite water breaking at 12 weeks pregnancy

Jade and Kevin Donnelly transferred their maternity care to Tommy’s Dr Alex Heazell after Jade’s waters broke at 12 weeks.
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Parents Jade and Kevin were advised to terminate their pregnancy after Jade’s waters broke very early at 12 weeks. Patrick was given a 2.5% chance of survival.

However, Jade strongly wanted to carry on with the pregnancy.  She felt unsupported to do so until she contacted Professor Heazell at the Tommy's centre in the Tommy's research centre at St Mary's Hospital.

Jade said; 'Professor Heazell was fantastic, he was open minded about what could happen and showed so much care to our situation.’

The Tommy's research centre at St Mary's Hospital specialises in very complicated pregancies, carrying out research and seeing parents who have had a previous late term loss in his high risk clinic. Professor Heazell is the clinical director of the centre.

In normal circumstances once waters break 80% of babies are born within 8 days. The baby is also extremely vulnerable to infection.

Under Professor's care Jade received intensive care during the rest of her pregnancy. Professor Heazell said: ‘We did weekly checks at St Mary's to look for infection and to check the levels of the 'waters' around Patrick. We counselled Jade about when we felt the safest time for him to be born was, and thankfully he is here safely.’

Against all the odds, Jade reached 29 weeks gestation and gave birth to Patrick by emergency caesarean section.

Although it was a triumph to get this far, 29 is still a very premature birth and Patrick spent the next 8 weeks in intensive care St Mary’s. His parents were transferred to Ronald McDonald House, a charity that provides accommodation for families, so they can stay near their poorly children in hospital.

If you want to read more about Dr Heazell and the team at Manchester you can take a look at our page about our stillbirth research centre in Manchester.

If you have experienced premature birth and need a little help or advice, you can read our premature birth information and support pages here.

Professor Heazell said stories like Patrick's are one of the reasons that caring for families makes his job worthwhile.