Alison Marshall settles into family life, in Barnard Castle, after spending five months in hospital

BACK HOME: Alison Marshall with her mother, Marie Spooner

BACK HOME: Alison Marshall with her mother, Marie Spooner

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Wear Valley)

A BABY who fought for survival after being born three months early has finally been released from hospital, five months after her birth.

Alison Marshall weighed 1lb 12oz after being born at 25 weeks and three days into her mother Marie Spooner’s pregnancy on November 2, last year.

After spending nearly five months in the neo-natal unit at the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, Alison’s overjoyed family brought her home three weeks ago.

Although she still requires oxygen through a tube and needs regular check-ups, the baby now weighs 7lb 8oz and is settling into family life, in Barnard Castle, with her parents Miss Spooner and Gary Marshall, and older brother Karl, aged five, where she has been nicknamed ‘Lally’, meaning ‘little Ally’.

Miss Spooner said: “We are thrilled to have her home.

“She is a good-natured baby, the only time she screams just before feeding time, but apart from that she is fine.

“When the nurse told us she could go home I had to double check what she had just said.”

Mr Marshall added: “I thought it was going to be a very different story the night Marie rang me to say Alison had been born.

“It was terrifying. It is still scary but now it is also exciting.

"I am over the moon that we are a complete family now.

“Alison has some slight hearing problems but considering what she has been through I think she has been very lucky.”

The couple thanked hospital staff, in Middlesbrough, for everything they had done for Alison.

They described her as “a daddy’s girl” and said that Karl had created collages of press cuttings telling the story of Alison’s traumatic birth.

Miss Spooner and Mr Marshall lodged an official complaint about their experience in Darlington Memorial Hospital, where Alison was born, after staff took 90-minutes to examine Miss Spooner when she attended the maternity unit suffering from contractions and repeatedly her that she was not in labour.

The couple recently received a letter from the hospital stating that staff would receive feedback on the importance of timely assessments on women admitted to the labour ward and that there were plans to create a triage facility using money recently awarded from the Department of Health.

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