Premier league footballer Ben Mee has shared his delight at the safe arrival of his very premature daughter last year.
Olive Mee was born in May 2020, just four days after the 24 week abortion limit, and weighing a mere 1 pound 2 ounces.
Speaking as part of yesterday’s World Prematurity Day, Burnley captain Ben and his wife Sarah said they wanted to share their story so it could help even “just one family”.
‘Day by day’
The couple only found out Olive might come early a week before the birth after the placenta detached from the uterus placing both mother and baby’s lives at risk.
Mum Sarah said: “We just had to take it day by day and just hope that everything was going to be okay, and just think about that day coming.”
When she was born, Olive was too small to hold and went straight into intensive care, being visited daily by her mum.
As the months progressed, Olive moved from intensive care to lower dependency, before coming home in September last year – much to older brother Jaxon’s excitement.
Now approaching her second birthday, the footballer shared how she has “recently started taking some steps and developing really well”, and how he looks forward to carrying her down the tunnel during a match soon.
“That will be a big moment. I can’t wait.”
In the UK, it is legal to have an abortion for most reasons up to 24 weeks, or up to birth when the unborn child is thought to have a disability.
Earlier this month, the world’s most premature baby to survive was officially recognised by Guinness World Records.
Curtis Means was born in Birmingham, Alabama, at just 21 weeks and one day, weighing a mere 14.8oz – less than half a bag of sugar.
After 275 days in hospital, the tiny tot was eventually discharged and allowed to go home in April this year.