by Liz Crudgington
A mum has thanked medical teams at the QEQM hospital in Margate who helped deliver her ‘miracle’ baby.
Patheepa Kingsly, from Ramsgate, had 12 years of fertility treatment without success, and had given up on her dreams of becoming a mum.
After joining local church Divine Retreat Centre Ramsgate, where members and priests prayed for her to have a child, she says she was stunned to discover she was expecting her daughter.
However, scans revealed little Amala had hydrocephalus, or fluid on her brain, and her cerebellum was also abnormal. Medics in London warned the tot would be very severely disabled and recommended terminating the pregnancy.
But Patheepa and her bus driver husband Sebastian, 47, wanted to give her a chance at life.
She said: “When we told Dr Aylur Rajasri (at the QEQM) we wanted to continue with the pregnancy, she couldn’t have been more supportive.
“It would have been impossible without her. She explained everything so clearly, setting out the issues we could face and what we could do.
“The whole team were so helpful and we could not have coped without them. They knew Amala might have significant health issues but they respected our decision and did everything they could to support us and give her the chance to live. We are eternally grateful to them.”
Amala was due to be born by caesarean section in London at the end of June in 2019, but after Patheepa’s waters broke on June 2 she was delivered by the team at the QEQM in Margate.
She was immediately transferred to Kings College London, where she spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit and had four different operations on her brain.
Patheepa, 44, said: “I was just happy she was alive. Anything else was a bonus.
“She is doing so well – doctors have said that it’s amazing how much she can do when they look at her brain scan.
“They said she would be like a vegetable, but she can communicate, she is happy and active, and she is so strong.”
Although Amala, now three, has a tube directly into her stomach for milk, she eats pureed food and is able to sit without support, and stand with support. She is due to start nursery in a few months.
Patheepa said: “We have hope, and it is a blessing that she is here with us at all.
“Without this team, I think we would have been convinced to terminate the pregnancy. But we wanted to give Amala a chance and we are so grateful for their support.”
The family visited Dr Rajasri’s clinic at the QEQM on Thursday to say thank you in person.
Dr Rajasri, who had overseen Patheepa’s care during her pregnancy, said: “Patheepa was very committed to doing everything she could for a successful pregnancy outcome.
“She was a regular in my clinics and it is so lovely to see her looking so well, and to meet beautiful Amala.
“It was a real privilege to support the family, along with my team, during such a difficult time for them, and to make a difference to their care.
“This is why I do my job. It’s a huge pleasure to hear that Amala is thriving. She has a huge character and is clearly a cherished member of the extended family.”
Sebastian added: “We want to thank all the hospitals, wards, doctors, surgeons, specialists, therapists, and all the NHS staff who are taking care of Amala so wonderfully.
“They are so lovely to her and take special care to give her the right treatment and therapy.
“We cannot thank them enough – may the good God bless and reward all their good works.”