Exmouth mum’s anguish over troubled birth

A MOTHER has spoken of the torment she endured at not being able to hold her newborn baby properly for weeks as the tot battled to stay alive.

Sacha Duddridge, 22, of Rosebery Road, was unable to hold her daughter, Poppie, for weeks as hospital medics tried to save the youngster who was born ten weeks premature.

Weighing just 3lb 14oz, the fragile youngster’s leg was no bigger than the size of her dad, Paul Bazell’s thumb.

The baby, in the first few weeks of her life, struggled to breathe by herself and suffered from pneumonia.

Yet, after a total of six weeks in hospital, and against all the odds, she pulled through.

Miss Duddridge said: “There were times we really did not know whether she would make it.

“I just kept telling myself that she would be okay. It is a horrible thing for anybody to go through and I would not wish it on anyone.”

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She added: “It was so hard not being able to pick her up because, as a mother, all you want to do is hold your child.

“We feel so lucky because not only did we have problems in hospital when she was born, we also had fertility treatment in the first place in order to have her.”

Mr Bazell and Miss Duddridge, both chefs at The Royal Beacon Hotel, in Exmouth, are raising money for the antenatal unit at The Royal Devon Hospital as thanks to staff who helped save their baby.

The couple, who are engaged, have produced a cake which will be raffled off at the hotel.

Mr Bazell said it was like winning the lottery when she started to get better.

“In the first couple of weeks it was just hell because you had machines beeping and doctors running around all over the place,” he said.

After the hard work of medics at both Bristol and Exeter hospitals, Poppie made a remarkable recovery and was able to go home after six weeks.

Her parents are now looking forward to their first Christmas together as a family.