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Holiday couple stranded after premature birth of daughter in Spain
9:09am Thursday 28th February 2013 in News
Sam Hilton and Zowie Lyons in hospital watch on anxiously as baby Ellizeah battles for life in an incubator
A young couple are trapped in a living nightmare after their daughter was born 13 weeks prematurely in Spain.
Zowie Lyons, 25, and Sam Hilton, 20, from Horsforth, were on a short break when little Ellizeah arrived early weighing just 2lb 2oz.
And they have been keeping a vigil by her hospital bedside as she has undergone life-saving surgery.
Just one month old, little Ellizeah has already endured three operations and she is expected to be in hospital in Alicante for at least another ten weeks.
The ordeal is made even worse for her anxious parents as their funds run out and they face the prospect of living in a homeless shelter to be near their daughter. Zowie’s mother Carol Lyons said: “It is just like living a nightmare at the moment. We could do with a miracle, either to get them home to hospital in England when Ellizeah is well enough, or to get enough funds to keep them there.”
She said her young grand-daughter has already had a life-saving operation to mend a hole in her intestine, followed by another operation on her intestine and surgery on a vein to her heart. She also has fluid on her brain and a bleed to her brain.
The family are hoping Ellizeah is now on the road to recovery, but Carol said: “We know it is going to be a very long process. She still can’t breathe on her own and so she has breathing tubes.”
Carol, 47, who is a dinner lady, added: “No parents want to leave their baby, and that is the problem we have now. We are trying to raise money to help them.”
Zowie, a restaurant manager, has been admitted to the same hospital as her daughter because of complications following her caesarean and suspected gallstones, but Sam is still living in the small hotel where they had both been staying.
Carol said the family had done everything they could to help pay for living costs but the couple had very little money left to pay for accommodation. Although they had been visiting Sam’s mum, who lives in Spain, she is more than two hours away from the hospital.
Carol said the stress and worry were taking their toll on the young couple.
“I have had Zowie on the phone crying and saying Mum I can’t do this anymore – I haven’t even held my baby. It is so hard for them,” she said.
“Of course as a parent I want to be with Zowie and to tell her everything will be OK.
“I know they will find the strength to continue but it is difficult for them – they are stuck in a country they don’t know, they don’t speak the language, and they don’t know what is going on with their daughter.”
She said financial problems made the situation worse.
“We have enough money for four weeks and then after that I don’t know what we are going to do. It is awful”
“At first Zowie was hardly eating because she was trying to save money. I have been running round the house trying to see what I can sell.”
The family have launched an appeal to help pay for the couple’s living costs and they are asking for donations of baby items, clothes, accessories and toys that they can sell at a jumble sale.
Anyone who wants to help can contact Carol on 07401404006.