A mother has expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Luxembourg hospital and staff who helped save her premature son 21 years ago.
British national Ann Birch-Bennett had been in Luxembourg for just over a year when, in October 1995, she went into labour with her first child. The problem was she was only 24 weeks pregnant.
“I was living in Bertrange and began having contractions. I went to the hospital and was completely naïve about the ramifications of what was happening,” the Brit explained.
Medical staff did their
best to halt the contractions, telling Ann that if the child was born
then, he could die. However, after four days Ann began experiencing
breathing difficulties and was allowed to give birth naturally at the
Grande Duchesse Charlotte hospital in Luxembourg.
I thought if he can cry, he will live.
“They delivered him feet first, and the first thing I remember is him crying. I thought if he can cry, he will live.”
Alexander weighed just 800
grams and measured 12 centimetres. “He was the size of my hand,”
But the saga was only just beginning for the new family.
Ann left the hospital the day after giving birth.
Alexander, however, would
remain there for the next 100 days.
Ann returned daily to be with her son who, after three weeks, she was finally able to hold.
Despite the odds being
against them, Ann said that she and Alexander's father, Andrew, were
never in any doubt their son would be fine.
This, she said, was largely thanks to the expert care and attention he received at the hospital in Luxembourg.
She said: “It was so fortunate. Had it happened two weeks earlier, I would have been in England. The local hospital in the UK didn't have the facilities that they did in Luxembourg.”
The mother later moved to Singapore where she had a second son, William, and then returned to the UK, in Devon, where she lives today. She is still in touch with some of the staff who helped in Luxembourg and returned to the Grand Duchy five years ago to meet them again.
Ann reached out to
wort.lu/en to show her gratitude to Luxembourg on Alexander's 21st
“He has followed the
normal development paths. He did his A Levels and now is at Oxford
Brookes University where he is studying Japanese and International
"He swims, plays rugby. He does everything,” Ann said, adding: “We can look back and marvel at the amazing facilities that enabled a baby born so small and so young to be able to go on and lead a fulfilling and rewarding life.”