Norwich mum tells of how her “miracle baby” survived

A Norwich mum has spoken of how her 'miracle baby' overcame all the odds to survive after her waters broke when she was just 16 weeks pregnant.

Laura Hill, 20, received her best present ever when baby Charlie was born on her birthday in March this year after a difficult pregnancy in which Charlie was given just a one per cent chance of survival.

She and her partner Richard Folkard were even advised to abort their unborn child.

'The first time I held Charlie I was crying so much because I was so full of happiness and all I kept saying to him was that mummy did not think we would get to this stage,' said Miss Hill who lives in Anchor Street, close to Barrack Street, with Mr Folkard, 22, and their two-year-old daughter Tillie and Charlie.

'I just want everyone to know Charlie's story – it is a miracle story because Charlie beat all the odds. I am just totally amazed by him and how he fought.'

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Mr Folkard, who spoke of his admiration for how Miss Hill stayed strong and dealt with the pregnancy, said: 'When Charlie was born it was the happiest day of my life along with when Tillie was born.

'When I first saw his head and heard his first cry there was so much going through my mind. I thought: 'We have got our little boy, he's safe here with us.' I was so happy.'

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Miss Hill said everything had been fine with the pregnancy until at 16 weeks and four days she woke up to find herself in a flood of water. She went to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) where she was told she had a preterm premature rupture of membranes.

'They did a scan and found all of my waters had gone and advised me to have an abortion,' she said.

'I was told I was likely to go into labour within two weeks and that the baby had only a one per cent chance of survival and if he did survive there would be a chance of brain damage or lung deformities.

'But I said one per cent is still a chance he could live and I did not want to give up on my baby.'

Miss Hill had scans and blood tests twice a week to monitor her baby's condition, and at 21 weeks she was given the amazing news that the membranes around her baby appeared to have resealed and there was now some water surrounding him.

'At 24 weeks I had all of the water there I should have had. I was totally amazed by it,' said Miss Hill, who just a few weeks earlier had been planning her son's funeral because the family had been advised to prepare themselves in case the worst happened.

'I had a blanket for him, I had written a poem and my sister had found a teddy bear for him, and I had a picture of Richard, Tillie and I to put with him,' she said.

'It was absolutely horrible thinking about his funeral but my sister Alarna really helped me to keep strong. Whenever I broke down she would comfort me.'

On her final scan Miss Hill was told the wonderful news that everything was absolutely perfect with her baby.

'I had my last scan on February 3 when I was 35 weeks and four days pregnant and the doctor told me everything was absolutely perfect. He said I had been very, very lucky and that I had a little miracle baby,' she said.

Late on February 28 this year, when Miss Hill was 39 weeks pregnant, her waters broke once more and the following day - also Miss Hill's own birthday - little Charlie was born at 7.55am weighing 7lb and 3oz.

'He cried but it was a weak cry so I started panicking, but then the midwife told me, 'he's perfectly normal - he's your little miracle,'' said Miss Hill.

'I cuddled him and said: 'Mummy never thought we would get to this stage.' It was very emotional.'

Five months on Charlie is a bubbly little boy who loves to smile.

Miss Hill said: 'He is happy all of the time. He laughs and babbles, blows raspberries and tries to talk to everyone. He loves all his family. He loves Tillie so much - he is always staring at her and trying to get her attention - and she adores him.

'He is just perfect in every single way and he is a miracle to everyone who knows what he went through.'

She said she hoped Charlie's story would give hope to other parents facing difficult decisions about their unborn babies.

'A one per cent chance may seem like nothing but Charlie has shown that babies, no matter how small they are, can hold on. Doctors do a great job but they can only advise you based on what they know and they do not always have the answers.

'Miracles can happen - go by your heart and what you believe in. If I had not believed in Charlie I would have given up and he would not be here today.'

Miss Hill also paid tribute to the staff at the NNUH, especially consultant obstetrician Alastair McKelvey and Alison Evans.

She said: 'The staff at the hospital were really fantastic. Alastair was so lovely. He would always tell me the truth but he always gave me a little bit of hope.'

• Do you know a young person who has beaten the odds? Contact reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email

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