Mum's message of hope

IT IS a story of hope and inspiration borne out of tragedy and despair.Today new mum Sandra Atkins is giving hope to others as she celebrates her miracle baby boy who has fought his way to fitness after being born at just two pounds, nine ounces, ten weeks early.

IT IS a story of hope and inspiration borne out of tragedy and despair.

Today new mum Sandra Atkins is giving hope to others as she celebrates her miracle baby boy who has fought his way to fitness after being born at just two pounds, nine ounces, ten weeks early.

But little Alexander's birth comes after a catalogue of heartache for his mother who previously had a son, James born at 25 weeks and who died after one day. She also had two miscarriages within four years.

But Miss Atkins, a keen Ipswich Town fan and a former tennis player was determined not to give up her dream of a child.


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She said: “I had my first child at 25 weeks and he died after a day. They have a 50-50 chance at 25 weeks.

“I always wanted children and it's such a tragic thing to happen but I was really positive and I thought I would just try again and get what I want!”

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She was told she had a blood disorder and would have to inject blood thinning drugs during pregnancy in order for her to reach a time her baby could survive if born early.

Thanks to medical intervention she was able to carry Alexander for 30 weeks and 1 day.

She said: “I was always quite positive and kept thinking 'keep trying'.

“Ten years ago someone of Alexander's size would have had trouble but he is doing really well thanks to everyone at the hospital.

My Dad is obviously very proud of him; it took a long time to have him!”

Alexander spent three months at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Miss Atkins, 40 now lives in Norwich with her partner of seven years, Richard Cooper, 41.

Alexander's grandfather, Norman Atkins is a well known figure in the Ipswich sports world and is overjoyed with his long-awaited grandson who has so successfully recovered from the premature birth and is hoping he may be a sportsman in the making.

Mr Atkins, MBE, 69 of Meadowvale Close, Ipswich, has been involved in St Margaret's Cricket Club since it's formation in 1948 and is now the secretary of the club.

He is also the Chairman of the Suffolk County Cricket Association and the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties cricket championships.

He said: “It would be very nice indeed if Alexander was into sports, he could be making an appearance this summer, probably at the Suffolk match against Staffordshire at Ransomes.”

Miss Atkins hopes her son will be sporty and said: “It's a family tradition and now my son will hopefully carry on the tradition as well.”

However, his grandmother Margaret has her reservations and said: “I think there may be a bit of a fight because Alexander's father, Richard, likes rugby and we like cricket.”

n. Have you got a story of hope? Contact The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK: For more information on premature births contact BLISS at www.bliss.org.uk.

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