Danny Burgess and Courtney Eden with their baby girl Bailey Burgess who was born at 27 weeks gestation.
Danny Burgess and Courtney Eden with their baby girl Bailey Burgess who was born at 27 weeks gestation.

Battle of a lifetime as bub born three months premature

BABY Bailey Burgess was meant to be making a grand entrance into the world on Saturday.

Instead, she is almost three months old and has already fought the battle of a lifetime.

Bailey, due on March 10, was born on December 8, 2017 - at 27 weeks gestation.

At a tiny 1.12kg and 37cm long, in the first week of her life her parents were unsure if she would make it.

Admitted to the neonatal unit of Townsville Base Hospital, 648km from her home in Cooktown, the three months premature infant was placed in a humidicrib and given both oxygen and nutritional support.

Her parents, Danny Burgess and Courtney Eden, were forced to watch their baby fight on her own.

It was a "very long road" but, as the heartbreaking days turned into weeks, Danny and Courtney witnessed Bailey slowly require less oxygen and gain weight.

Gaining 100g every three days, the little girl proved she is as tough as both her parents put together.

"Which, if you know both Danny and Court, is bloody tough!" Bailey's aunt Brittany Eden said.

In early January the new parents were finally allowed to take Bailey out of her humidicrib and hold her for the first time.

The family then relocated to Cairns Base Hospital, placed in the special care unit where Bailey reached the 2kg mark on January 21, 2018 - "a huge milestone".

Her feeding tube was eventually removed and she was taught to breast and bottle feed.

Throughout their time in hospitals, Courtney said she met a lot of families in the same situation as them, which had helped.

Danny and Courtney then faced the "tough decision" to not return to Cooktown but move back to Courtney's hometown of Pinnacle, to be closer to a major hospital.

Finally on the home stretch, they moved to the Mackay Base Hospital special care unit at the end of February and were given the go-ahead to move to Pinnacle, in the Pioneer Valley.

The family is now settled there, where Courtney jokes Bailey is well travelled for her age but doing well; however, she will require oxygen support, even after discharge, and will have to have regular check-ups at Mackay Base Hospital.

Courtney worked on a cattle station previously and Danny has had to get a new job on a cane farm, but he's glad to be back at work..

"We had to do it for her, we couldn't stay in Cooktown," Courtney said.

"It's not the easiest thing to do through but we had a really good support base, we were lucky."

Living in Ronald McDonald House accommodation, and with Danny out of work for a long period, Courtney said it had been hard financially.

The Pinnacle Family Hotel is hosting a 'Music Fundraiser' on March 16 at 7.30pm for the family to help them regain their feet and attend to Bailey's needs financially, as well as finally celebrate the birth of their baby girl.

Bailey's family has set up a gofundme page to support them.