Edinburgh boy born 11 weeks premature celebrates fifth birthday as mum raises £1.2m for neonatal support

Broxburn mum Coady suffered a haemorrhage after labour as her son Matthew continued to fight for his life.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 15th November 2019, 7:28 am

Matthew Dorman was tiny and weighed only two pounds when he was born 11-weeks premature. The tot was so frail he had be resuscitated before his mother had even laid eyes on him.

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Coady Dorman, 29, said she was “terrified” as she thought her son was stillborn – and was ‘“overwhelmed” to find herself a mother to a “tiny but perfect wee boy”.

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Matthew Dorman was tiny and weighed only two pounds when he was born 11-weeks premature.

Now, five years on from the traumatic birth, the healthy youngster has just celebrated his fifth birthday and is busy helping his mum campaign for better support in neonatal units across the country. To date, the pair have raised more than £1.2m to support families who have to travel long distances to their nearest neonatal units.

To mark World Prematurity Day this Sunday, the brave mother from Broxburn is using her own labour story to raise awareness about the trials of premature births.

Coady was 27 weeks through her “textbook pregnancy” when she suddenly couldn’t feel her baby kick and knew something wasn’t right.

Symptoms of swelling, headaches and high levels of protein in her urine confirmed that she had pre-eclampsia and she was transferred by ambulance to hospital for an emergency caesarean at only 28-weeks.

Coady and Matthew Dorman know the trauma of premature birth and now help others.

She said: “I was emotional and confused and thought the doctors meant I was going to have a stillborn. I remember in the ambulance I was trying to detach myself because I didn’t want the pain of the emotional connection with my dead baby.

“When Matthew was born the first thing I asked was if he was still alive and the nurse looked surprised and asked why I thought he wouldn’t be.

“I finally looked at my baby and it was really surreal, I hadn’t prepared myself for my baby being alive and then all of a sudden I was a mum to a tiny but perfect wee boy.”

Haemorrhage

To date, the pair have raised more than 1.2m to support families who have to travel long distances to their nearest neonatal units.

After labour, when Matthew was fighting for his life in a specialist neo-natal care unit, Coady suffered a haemorrhage and was rushed for surgery.

She said: “I don’t know how they fixed us both, we were both on opposite sides of the hospital fighting for our lives but we somehow made it through the night and the next day I was taken to neonatal care and got to touch Matthew for the first time.”

While Matthew is now a healthy wee boy, there was a lot of aftercare and Coady relied heavily on support from St John’s Special Care Unit and the charity Bliss which supports families who have experienced premature births. The thankful mother now regularly fundraises for both of these organisations.

She added: “When I had Matthew I felt very alone and scared and I was so confused about what was happening.

“But I now know there is massive amounts of support out there and I want parents to know having a child born prematurely doesn’t have to mean the worst.”