One of Britain’s most premature babies turns one and celebrates Christmas at home

A Brighton family celebrated the first birthday of their daughter who was born four months early and weighed just 1lb 5oz.

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 5:12 pm
Bonnie was born at just 23 weeks- four months early

Bonnie was born to parents Leah and Siegfried Windels from Portslade, on December 22, 2018, making her one of Britain’s most premature babies.

Delivered at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, Bonnie was just 23 weeks old.

She was considered extremely premature and spent four months in the intensive care unit.

The Windels family celebrated Bonnie's first birthday

Mum Leah said that the unit does ‘amazing work in saving lives’ despite needing donations for specialist equipment.

Bonnie “wouldn’t have made it home” without the care she was given there, she said.

The family spent prolonged periods in the TMBU, including the Christmas period in 2018.

Bonnie has now celebrated her second Christmas against all odds, and she is out of hospital this time.

The family says that Bonnie is ‘thriving’ and can babble, crawl, and grab for objects.

“We’re having to keep the presents out of her way this Christmas!” said mum, Leah.

“It is a dream come true to have her home. We couldn’t know for sure if we would ever bring her home last Christmas, let alone celebrate with all of us together.

“She has amazed and inspired us all year and we plan to spend 2020 doing as much as we can to give back to all of the people who have cared for her.

“It has been an enormous team effort between friends, family and many NHS teams who we’re eternally grateful to.”

Founded by Dr Trevor Mann in the 1970s, the TMBU has become one of the most prominent specialist centres in the UK for treating premature and sick new-borns.

Find out more at the unit’s website.