Above: Baby Hafsa with Western Isles Hospital Maternity Ward staff
It was a welcome return for baby Hafsa as she recently visited NHS staff in Stornoway and Glasgow to celebrate her first birthday.
Proud parents Zerqua and Mansha Mohammed Shahid brought Hafsa to visit both Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway and the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow, to pay tribute to the wonderful NHS staff who looked after them after Hafsa was born dangerously premature on Father’s Day 2016 at only 24 weeks.
Hafsa, who weighed just 580g (1.28lbs) and was so small she could fit into her mother’s hand, spent her first 19 weeks in hospital after being born in the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow.
Zerqua first became aware that Hafsa’s arrival could be imminent when her membranes broke on June 9. She attended the Maternity Department at Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, and was flown away by air ambulance that day to the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital, accompanied by Head of Midwifery, Catherine Macdonald.
Zerqua didn’t get to see Hafsa until later that evening, as both mum and baby were unwell after the birth. Zerqua and Hafsa were kept in different intensive care units, but mum and baby were linked up by web cam so that they could always see each other.
From the outset, Hafsa did exceptionally well, battling with all the usual aspects of extreme prematurity, particularly with maturation of her lungs. She was extubated and intubated again on numerous occasions depending on her oxygen levels.
It took 134 days of specialist care in Glasgow before Hafsa (which aptly – for such a courageous baby that has fought for her survival - means ‘humble baby lioness’) was strong enough to come back home to Stornoway. Zerqua spent all day, every day, by her daughter’s side, providing the love and support she needed to gain strength.
Zerqua said, “This is a very special birthday for us and we plan on celebrating it with family and friends.
“Hasfa’s development is coming on well and her weight is now up to 13lb, which I put down to her reaping the benefits of being breastfed from birth. She doesn't really have any complications, although she does have weak bones, is taking bowel medication and has no peripheral vision due to eye surgery.
"Throughout Hasfa’s progress we have been so grateful for the help we have received from NHS staff, both here in Stornoway and in Glasgow, and we can’t thank them enough. To show our support we decided to fundraise, with all monies went direct to the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital’s Neonatal Unit."
Head of Midwifery, Catherine Macdonald, commented “Hafsa is such a happy and pretty little girl, it's wonderful to see her enjoying her first birthday this week and what a year she has had. When we recall how fragile and small she was when she was born, that's now all behind her and there's no stopping this little girl as we watch her develop and grow in her second year."