A mother is celebrating the birth of her “Christmas miracle” after being told incorrectly that her baby had died in the womb.
Hannah Cole, 27, was admitted to the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) at 20 weeks after her waters broke.
The following day, doctors informed Hannah that the baby had died due to a lack of a heartbeat and scheduled her for an induced labor.
But a ‘gut instinct’ that her son was still alive encouraged Hannah to ask the hospital for one final scan and that was when doctors found a heartbeat again.
Oakley Cole-Fowler was finally born at just 24 weeks and three days on October 30 – weighing 780 grams.
Hospital bosses have apologised for ‘the distress and anxiety caused’ to the family.
Hannah said: ‘It’s been stressful and up and down.
‘He was in ICU. He has been absolutely brilliant.
‘I’m just relieved. It’s been a rollercoaster. He is my Christmas miracle.’
Oakley will be in the hospital until at least February 9, 2023, his original due date.
Hannah, from Wibsey, West Yorkshire, described Oakley as a “little fighter” and said the last few months have been a rollercoaster ride.
Little Oakley underwent surgery at the age of eight days after being diagnosed with Necrotising enterocolitis, a condition in which tissues in the intestine become inflamed and die.
He’s also had a stoma bag installed and will have more surgeries next spring.
‘Hopefully, we’ll be able to bring him home in a couple of months,’ Hannah said.
‘I’m a little lost right now because he’s not at home.’
The young mother explained that while Oakley was once on a ventilator, he is now breathing without any assistance and has ‘come on leaps and bounds’.
She added: ‘I can’t wait to get him home and we can be a normal family.’
Hannah has complained to BRI about the treatment she experienced during her pregnancy with Oakley.
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirmed an investigation of the events around her scans in October has now concluded.
A spokesman said: ‘We have concluded our investigation which is now being shared with Ms Cole.
‘We would like to send our congratulations to her and her family on the birth of Oakley and wish the family well during his long neo-natal journey.’
Back in October, Sarah Hollins, director of midwifery at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘On behalf of the Trust, I would like to offer my sincere apologies for the distress and anxiety caused to Ms Cole regarding the treatment and care received during her current pregnancy.’