Medical miracle Makenzie: Mum went into labour at 19 weeks
When Marleigh Salter's waters broke at 19 weeks no one believed that the baby could survive - it was hopeless, medically impossible.
But no one counted on the sheer stubbornness of little Makenzie who hung on unprotected in her mother's womb for six more weeks.
"It is normal to go into full labour within 48 hours of the waters breaking and as such a premmie baby was "unviable" it was likely I would miscarry. But my mum told me of hearing of women drinking lots of water and not moving much to stop the baby leaving the womb. That's what I did," the Gold Coast mum said.
"But during that time I was advised by doctors that even if the child did survive it would be brain dead, unable to talk or walk and that I should consider a termination. I might have only been in my early 20s but I was determined to have this baby and it was obvious she was a fighter," the mum said.
Mackenzie was born at 25 weeks in February last year weighing 774g
"When I delivered her, my husband was informed that there was some abnormalities which included a deformed foot, webbed fingers and toes and also missing tips of fingers. Her chance of survival was lowered again as they were afraid of an infection taking over. We spent a very long 99 days at the Gold Coast University Hospital NICU ward, which included blood transfusions, PIC lines, oxygen support, eye exams, steroids, nitric oxide and pretty much anything else you could think of. We were discharged on oxygen but that didn't concern us as she was coming home against all odds," Ms Salter said.
Today feisty Makenzie is like any other toddler. Full of life and not taking no for an answer.
Her deformed foot was amputated and she now races around on her prosthetic leg.
"Makenzie is perfect. She hits all her milestones and is a true miracle premmie. The Gold Coast University Hospital staff were amazing through Makenzie's journey. It was only natural that they didn't think that my baby would survive. All the data says she shouldn't have. And they also saved her life when she got sepsis," she said.
On Sunday October 25 families across Australia will walk together in support of the 48,000 babies born sick or born before 37 weeks gestation across the country. Money raised will go to Life's Little Treasures Foundation.
Originally published as Medical miracle Makenzie: Mum went into labour at 19 weeks