Miracle baby Chloe Wilkinson - born at 29 weeks - all set for first day at school
FOR any parent, dropping your child off at school for the first time is a memorable occasion.
But Gemma Wilde has every reason to be more emotional than most.
Her daughter Chloe Wilkinson, now aged 4, was born weighing 1lb 11oz –– less than a third of the weight of a healthy baby.
Now, the girl who captured the hearts of Mail readers in 2008, is about to start Endike Primary School in north Hull.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Gemma, 27, said: "I didn't think I would ever see her start school.
"When she was born, she was so tiny.
"But, today, Chloe is so bright and intelligent and excited about starting school.
"It is an absolute miracle."
Gemma underwent an emergency Caesarean section at Hull Women and Children's Hospital just 29 weeks into her pregnancy.
A midwife had spotted the symptoms of potentially fatal pre-eclampsia during a routine monthly check-up.
Gemma was taken to Hull Women and Children's Hospital the same day and told she would be kept in until the due date.
However, when her protein levels "went through the roof", doctors said she would need a Caesarean section, carried out two days later.
Chloe, born on April 7, 2008, spent ten weeks in hospital, being cared for around the clock, before her mum was allowed to take her home.
Gemma, of north Hull, said: "It was an extremely scary time for the whole family. We were all so frightened.
And the drama did not end when Chloe arrived home.
"She must have been in and out of hospital 15 times with various bugs and chest infections," said Gemma. "But Chloe pulled through each time."
Today, Chloe is a healthy 2st and just short of 2ft.
Gemma, who has just bought her daughter's smart school uniform, said: "Chloe is the normal size for a girl her age and she is always just so happy. I am so proud of her for how she has battled.
"I am going to be a very emotional mum when I take her to school."
Chloe knows she was poorly as a baby, according to her mother.
Gemma said: "Whenever we drive past the hospital, Chloe will say to me, 'Mummy, I was in there when I was a baby, wasn't I?'"
Chloe was born with chronic lung disease.
But Gemma, an auxiliary nurse at Hull Royal Infirmary, says the condition does not radically affect her daughter.
"She appears to be growing out of it and it doesn't stop her doing anything," she said. "The most she ever needs is a blast on an inhaler. Even then, it's only in winter.
"I have not even had to tell the school about how poorly she once was. She is just a normal little girl."
Chloe will start at Endike Primary School on September 10.
Finishing touches are being put on the school, which is being rebuilt under the city's Building Schools For The Future initiative.
Gemma's mother, Kim, says she could not be more proud of her granddaughter.
She said: "I am a very proud nanna.
"I call Chloe my little miracle."
Mrs Wilde said she feared for her granddaughter when she was born.
She said: "Each time the phone rang, I thought, 'This is it.'
"I didn't want to answer the phone because I thought it would be Gemma ringing with bad news about Chloe.
"But look at her now. Don't get me wrong, she can sometimes be a right little madam, but we love her to bits."