Parents of Norwich youngster Grace Matthews remember dramatic home birth ten years on

Grace Matthews celebrates her 10th birthday with her family, mum Vicky, Dad, Brian, brother Tom.
Byl

Grace Matthews celebrates her 10th birthday with her family, mum Vicky, Dad, Brian, brother Tom. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The parents of brave Norwich youngster Grace Matthews who lost her legs to Meningitis have described the last decade with their daughter as a 'whirlwind'.

Baby Grace was delivered by her dad, Brian Matthews, at their Norwich home
Photo:Adrian Judd

Baby Grace was delivered by her dad, Brian Matthews, at their Norwich home Photo:Adrian Judd Copy:Katie Cooper For:EN copyright EN/Archant 2007 - Credit: copyright Archant 2007

Her arrival on February 5, 2007, was quick and dramatic and featured on the front page of the Norwich Evening News two days later.

Grace's father Brian, now aged 47, acted as midwife to his wife Vicky and delivered his daughter at their home in Bacton Road, Norwich, in 20 minutes.

To add an extra challenge, the baby was born in the breech position - meaning she came out feet first.

Babies in breech positions normally have been delivered by caesarean section.

He said: 'I had left off work early that day and remember coming home and seeing Vicky in labour. It was terrifying at the time. I remember the paramedics telling me to stay calm.

'Grace was born with the cord around her neck but Vicky stayed calm and was relaxed.'

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He described feeling overcome with relief after his daughter arrived safely.

Mrs Matthews, 41, who runs a blind fitting business with her husband, said: 'I remember how mad it was ten years ago. It was a bit surreal. Luckily it turned out OK but it could have been a very different story.'

After the birth Grace had one hospital check but did not need anymore medical assistance.

But three years later she was struck by Meningitis B and was only given an hour to live after being taken to Addenbrooke's University Hospital in Cambridge.

'I'll never forget that feeling. You think she is going to be snatched away from you but you try not to allow yourself to think like that. She is a little fighter and a tough little cookie,' Mrs Andrews added.

Grace was in a coma for nine days but was forced to lose the bottom of both her legs and most of her fingers because of the infection.

She now has prosthetic legs and is a competent horse rider.

Mr Matthews, who described his daughter as determined, amazing and resourceful, said: 'It has been a bit of a whirlwind.'

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