LIFE is looking up for mum Christine Hedley after her baby battled back against the odds.
At 22 weeks pregnant, the nightmare began for Christine when her waters prematurely broke.
The 26-year-old was rushed to Sunderland Royal Hospital where medics feared the worst.
The Thorney Close mum was dealt the devastating blow that her baby girl was likely to be born within 24 hours and they would be unable to fight for her life.
Christine, of Pearl Road, said: “I was so worried, it was every mum’s worst nightmare. I was told she was probably going to be born within 24 hours and they wouldn’t be able to do anything to save her because she was so young.”
Christine, also mum to Harry, two, spent the next week in hospital desperately waiting for news on her precious baby.
After about a week they said the baby had moved into a safe position and she was safe to leave hospital. However, she was warned there was still the danger of infection and was to be monitored closely.
“I spent the rest of the pregnancy in and out of hospital with problem bleeding, which was scary and I kept having to get tested for infections,” Christine said.
“It was a horrible, horrible time and a really tough pregnancy.”
Ten weeks early, little Maisie Hedley was born. She was taken to intensive care where she spent three weeks fighting for her life in an incubator in the neonatal unit.
“We were absolutely devastated,” said Christine, who is married to Nathan. “It was horrendous because all you want to do is hold your baby and for the first week we couldn’t touch her.
“Eventually we were allowed to bottle feed her and hold her and that was just amazing.”
At six months old, the little battler is fighting fit and fitting well into family life.
“She’s certainly keeping us busy,” Christine said. “She’s absolutely amazing and is really good.”
Now Christine has decided she wants to give something back to those who helped her and Maisie at the hospital.
“Everyone was phenomenal and it was amazing how they helped so we just want to do something to say a big thank you.”
l Tomorrow, Christine and 11 pals will be spending the night at the haunted New Crown pub in South Shields to raise funds for the neonatal unit.
Sponsorship forms and collection buckets can be found at Party on the Corner, Hylton Road, and in numerous shops at Pennywell shopping centre.