She was born at 25 weeks weighing only 680g – but look at her now!

By Saskia Hill
25 April 2016

Doctors didn’t think she would survive – that was six years ago.

Talk about a fighter! Little Payden was born at just 25 weeks weighing only 680 g at the Life St George’s Hospital in Port Elizabeth.

Today Payden is a healthy, lively little girl. She loves playing with her friends and is now in Grade R in the Pukkies section of Hoërskool P J Olivier in Grahamstown.

Little Payden spent three months in hospital and her mom was by her bedside every day. Little Payden spent three months in hospital and her mom was by her bedside every day. PHOTO: Supplied

The doctor on duty when she was born in 2010 told her mother, Sandra Doyle (38) she wouldn’t survive. He then left her alone and nurses assisted her with the birth.

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

Sandra could hold her baby for only a short while before nurses took her away.

payden5The nurses took Payden away before Sandra was even able to hold her properly. PHOTO: Supplied The nurses took Payden away before Sandra was even able to hold her properly. PHOTO: Supplied

Sandra experienced a confusion of emotions – no one could tell her if her daughter was still alive. “We all expected the worst as I was told she wasn’t going to make it,” she says.

Three hours later Sandra was given the surprising news: Payden was alive and breathing on her own. Little Payden spent three months in hospital and her mom was by her bedside every day.

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Sandra had to use a breast pump to provide milk for Payden, who was fed through tubes in her nose. “As sad and heartbreaking as it was to see my daughter so small and fragile every day, I knew she would be okay.”

 Sandra could hold her baby for only a short while before nurses took her away. PHOTO: Supplied Sandra could hold her baby for only a short while before nurses took her away. PHOTO: Supplied

Because of stress Sandra began to have trouble producing milk and Payden had to be fed with donor milk.

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But through it all Sandra remained hopeful. “During this period she grew stronger and stronger, gaining weight each day. The only thing that kept me going each day was knowing that I was going to see my baby.”

Today Payden is a healthy, lively little girl. PHOTO: Supplied Today Payden is a healthy, lively little girl. PHOTO: Supplied

Payden does suffer from immune system and colon trouble, but it isn’t too serious. “When she gets a cold or flu her body is not as strong as it should be to fight viruses. It takes her a bit longer to recover.”

Payden is today full of life, doing well at school and the apple of her mother’s eye. “By looking at her you’d never guess this bright, smiley, happy child was a premature baby.”

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