Joy, courage and finally tears: doctor shares story of 'miracle baby' Alice's battle for life

By admin
22 April 2016

"Alice of Miracleland," the Cape Town doctor wrote on Facebook.

Alice van Staden is a “miracle”, a doctor has said.

Her mother is diabetic and she was born more than three months prematurely, yet despite this she desperately clung to life right to the end.

Cape Town gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Marlena du Toit, who delivered Alice at the Louis Leipoldt Medi-Clinic in Bellville, this week shared the child’s moving story on Facebook – from the happy birth to her tragic death the following morning.

Read more: Groundbreaking operation for premature baby with hole in her breastbone

“Read Alice van Staden’s story . . . Alice of Miracleland,” Dr du Toit wrote on Monday night after Alice’s birth. “Her mom, Marelie, and dad, Johan, live in Paarl. Marelie has been diabetic since the age of 12 and is a very courageous woman who’s had to face many complications due to her diabetes . . .”

Marelie fell pregnant last year and Alice was due only on 26 July, but her water broke on 11 March after a pregnancy of just 20 weeks.

“All the textbooks would describe this as a miscarriage,” the doctor explains. “But Alice is clinging to her placenta and mom for dear life!”

Read more: ‘She is an angel now’: Alberton’s miracle baby Hayley dies

One challenge after another followed.

At 25 weeks and three days the doctor had to inject steroids. “Her mom is bleeding and Alice is holding on for her life!”

On Wednesday, at 26 weeks and one day, a severe infection was diagnosed and the doctor decided to perform a caesarean. Alice the miracle baby made her arrival at 4.46pm, weighing just 830 g.

She was placed in a special plastic bag and admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.

“I’m flabbergasted by this miracle – that we managed to gain time despite a diabetic mom with a high risk of infection,” the doctor wrote.

Read more: Woman goes into labour at 26 weeks expecting one baby and gives birth to FIVE

But then, just before 6 am the next morning, the news was posted on Dr du Toit’s Facebook page: “With the break of a new day came the news . . . Alica has gone to heaven.”

It was a courageous battle but in the end the little girl could endure only so much. “Her little body lost the struggle against the infection. My heart goes out to Marelie & Johan. Please join us in a prayer that they’ll find peace.”

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