‘Miracle’ Luka puts up brave fight after arriving 15 weeks early

Mater

Queensland mum Anna Seidl will never forget how close she came to losing her ‘miracle’ baby girl after she was born 15 weeks early and weighing just 728 grams.

Ms Seidl, who is ready to celebrate her first Mother’s Day with Luka, was enjoying the last day of her holiday on Hamilton Island when she began to suffer heavy bleeding just 22 weeks into her pregnancy.

She was transported by boat, a Royal Flying Doctor Service plane and five ambulances to Proserpine Hospital and then Townsville University Hospital.

Ms Seidl was diagnosed with a a subchorionic hematoma – bleeding between the wall of the uterus and the sac that surrounds the embryo inside the uterus – and received medical care before returning home to Ferny Grove in Brisbane with her partner Laura and three-year-old son Oskar.

After returning home from Townsville on 4 December, less than three weeks later, she suffered a placental abruption and baby Luka was delivered at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital on 20 December at 25 weeks gestation.

Ms Seidl said Luka was so tiny she could almost fit in the palm of her hand. At seven weeks old Luka suffered a sudden twisting of her bowel and was urgently transferred to the Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) at Mater Mothers’ Hospital in South Brisbane.

Ms Seidl said doctors were already concerned by her prematurity, low birth weight, underdeveloped
Intra-200-px-w-Anna-and-Luke-Seidl-body.jpg lungs and an eye condition related to her prematurity (Retinopathy of Prematurity), and then had to undergo surgeries to correct knotting in her gastrointestinal tract.

“Luka received an immense amount of care at Mater Mothers’ Hospital,” Ms Seidl said.

“Luka enjoyed her first proper bath 106 days after being born – which was so exciting.

“We know the outcome would have been very different without the three months of expert care she received, including the two months she spent at Mater, and we will be forever grateful our little girl is here with us today.”

Mater Foundation Chief Executive Andrew Thomas is calling on Queenslanders to support families with premature babies as part of the charity’s 2024 Tax Appeal.

“After birth, most families spend three days in hospital, not three months,” Mr Thomas said.

“Sadly, for families of premature and critically ill babies, these long-awaited moments often bring new fears instead of joy.

“Just touching your tiny, fragile baby who can’t breathe without mechanical support can be daunting.”

While Luka is now tipping the scales at 3.3kg and thriving at home with her loving family, up to 79 babies will call the Mater Mothers’ NCCU home on any given day.

A donation before 30 June could help improve the well-being of neonatal patients and their families in the NCCU.

Make a donation at fundraise.mater.org.au/event/tax-appeal-2024/

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