Heartbreak for Wigan couple as baby daughter dies at just seven days old

Hundreds of pounds have been donated to help pay for the funeral of a premature baby who died at just seven days old.
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Myla-Rae Downs weighed just 1lb 4oz when was born at 11.23pm on July 1, at 23 weeks and five days into the pregnancy.

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She was the first child for Cameron Downs, 24, and Lisha Tarbuck, 22, but her birth came after a difficult pregnancy and multiple hospital appointments.

Lisha Tarbuck and Cameron Downs with daughter Myla-Rae DownsLisha Tarbuck and Cameron Downs with daughter Myla-Rae Downs
Lisha Tarbuck and Cameron Downs with daughter Myla-Rae Downs
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Lisha suffered complications throughout the pregnancy, including bleeding, and her waters broke at just 21 weeks and five days.

Doctors suggested they consider terminating the pregnancy and warned there was a high chance their baby could be disabled, but they wanted to give her the best chance of life and decided to keep going.

Lisha was given steroids to help her daughter’s lungs and heart develop, and after more medical intervention in the following weeks, she went into labour on July 1 at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

Baby Myla-Rae started crying as soon as she was born – something which surprised doctors and midwives considering how small and premature she was – and she was taken straight to resuscitation.

Myla-Rae's feet framed in a heart by her parents' handsMyla-Rae's feet framed in a heart by her parents' hands
Myla-Rae's feet framed in a heart by her parents' hands
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She needed more and more oxygen and over the coming days she had problems with her lungs and heart.

Cameron, who lives in Aspull, and Lisha, from Newton, were told their daughter was becoming increasingly unwell when she was just five days old and warned she might not survive the day, but the tot kept fighting.

A photographer took pictures of Myla-Rae and recorded her hand and footprints, while hospital staff gave the new parents keepsakes to honour their daughter.

The couple moved into a family room with their baby on July 7, so they could spend quality time together, and Myla-Rae even managed to open her eyes.

Myla-Rae Downs was born prematurelyMyla-Rae Downs was born prematurely
Myla-Rae Downs was born prematurely
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Cameron and Lisha made the heartbreaking decision to turn off the machines providing vital medical support.

Her breathing tube was removed at 11.23pm on July 7 – the exact time she had been born – and Myla-Rae sadly died in her parents’ arms at 1.10am the next day.

Afterwards, they gave Myla-Rae her first bath and dressed her in comfortable clothes, before going to Claire House to spend time with her.

Relative Codie Baldwin set up an online fund-raising appeal to help pay for the funeral, which will be held at 3pm on August 2 at Newton-le-Willows Cemetery.

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On the website, she said: “Being the little warrior she was, Myla-Rae fought her hardest and gave it her all, showing mummy and daddy how strong and amazing she was, but unfortunately she was too precious for this world and the angels took her way too soon. At just one week old, Myla-Rae passed peacefully in mummy and daddy’s arms on July 8, where she was most comfortable and loved.

"As people can imagine this is an incredibly hard time for Cam and Lisha, losing their precious baby girl so unexpectedly, so I’m asking anyone and everyone to come together and donate whatever they can to help with funeral costs or anything that Cam and Lisha need at this hard time. Anything will be a huge help. Let’s show gorgeous little Myla-Rae how loved she really was and how much of a fighter she was.”

Donations can be made at gofund.me/b7f87f11

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