Baby Lily is parents’ joy

David and Kimberley Atkinson with their baby daughter Lily. Picture: Alan Watson.
David and Kimberley Atkinson with their baby daughter Lily. Picture: Alan Watson.

Baby Lily Atkinson is a true survivor, thanks to the vigilance and great care of the medical profession in Lanarkshire and Glasgow.

Lily, who is now three months old, showed real fighting spirit when she was born and her parents, Kimberley and David, are full of praise for the medical staff who gave her a chance of survival.

The family live in St Mary’s Road, Bellshill, and have a story to tell which has a very happy ending.

Kimberley’s pregnancy seemed straightforward until she went along to Wishaw General for her 36-week growth scan and was shocked when the baby was diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH).

Kimberley said: “It was a shock but the diagnosis was made following thorough work carried out by a sonographer at Wishaw General. We are very grateful to her. It could have been a bigger shock and perhaps a worse outcome without her careful attention to the scan.”

CDH is a birth defect where the diaphragm doesn’t form properly and organs which belong in the abdomen migrate through the hole into the chest cavity, pushing the heart over and preventing the affected lung from forming. Babies with CDH have a fifty-fifty chance of survival.

Kimberly explained: “My care was transferred to Glasgow Southern General and Lily was eventually delivered by a C-section. We didn’t get to see her as she was taken to intensive care right away.

“I was taken to see her for a moment before she transferred to Yorkhill Hospital where she had surgery when she was six days old to move her organs back and repair the hole. There were then two more weeks in intensive care before Lily was allowed home.”

Kimberley, who originally hails from Motherwell and is a teacher at Clydeview School, joined a CDH support group on Facebook and continues with this contact, now with a happy story from the other side of the problem.

She said: “Lily has been incredibly lucky but, for so many babies this is not the case. There is virtually no awareness of CDH in the UK, yet it is fairly common, affecting one in every 2,500 babies.

“Of the survivors, most can suffer from other complications. Our family are grateful for the treatment we received from the NHS.”