Grieving mum's praise for baby medics

A mother whose baby daughter died at 29-days-old today paid tribute to her “little star” and heaped praise on the medical staff who fought to save her life.

IPSWICH: A mother whose baby daughter died at 29-days-old today paid tribute to her “little star” and heaped praise on the medical staff who fought to save her life.

Natalie Cooper gave birth to Freya Abeni Clarke on August 20 - 12 weeks before her due date - after requiring an emergency caesarean due to a placenta abruption and low amniotic fluid levels.

Freya was immediately taken into the intensive baby care unit, where she was due to remain until her actual due date of November 17.

When she was born, tiny Freya weighed just 1lb 5oz, but she fought bravely with the support of her mum and dad, Graeme Clarke, 30.

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Miss Cooper, of Baird Grove, had already prepared a nursery for Freya and said that the whole family were excited for the baby's return home.

“She was so brave - she was doing so well because she was breathing for herself for an hour each day and she was getting stronger and growing,” said Miss Cooper.

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“While she was in hospital - none of it sunk in, I just thought that I had to get on with it.”

On September 17 - 29 days after being born - Freya lost her battle for survival after suffering an air leak in her lungs.

The 21-year-old doting mother, who works in Starbucks in Tavern Street in Ipswich, said: “It all happened very suddenly, she deteriorated within a matter of hours.

“The hospital staff were all amazing, they really did all they could for Freya.

“We called her our little star. Without the help of the hospital staff we wouldn't have had those 29 precious days with our brave daughter.

“The staff there became almost like family - they work such long hours and they really don't get the recognition that they deserve.”

Natalie also paid tribute to the friends and family who have supported her through the difficulties of the last few months - referring to Graeme's mum, Tina Clarke, as her “life jacket”.

More than �1,000 has been donated to Freya's memory fund, which will eventually be given to the Special Care Baby Unit at Ipswich Hospital.

Have you been overwhelmed by dedicated medics at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

Natalie and Graeme wanted to thank:

Mr G. Sellars - Consultant Obstetrician who performed Natalie's Caesarean

Dr P. Desai - Freya's Consultant Paediatrician

The Ipswich Special Care Baby Unit and Neonatal Team who cared for Freya.

Hunnaballs Funeral Directors

Tom Harwood and the Starbucks Tavern Street Team

Tex and Diablo Ink who have donated a substantial amount to the memory fund

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