Doncaster family raising cash to thank medics for saving baby daughter

Gareth Dawson, pictured with partner Michelle Cannon, Faith and Courtney, 11 and Alyssia, nine. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 03-03-15 Dawson MC 3
Gareth Dawson, pictured with partner Michelle Cannon, Faith and Courtney, 11 and Alyssia, nine. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 03-03-15 Dawson MC 3
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A grateful couple are on a fundraising mission for the hospital which saved their baby’s life by performing a miracle operation on her while she was still in the womb.

Little Faith Hope Dawson was diagnosed with the life-threatening condition Hydrops during her mum Michelle Cannon’s 20-week ultrasound scan.

Faith Hope Dawson,  Picture: Marie Caley

Faith Hope Dawson, Picture: Marie Caley

The condition is caused by too much fluid in the baby’s lungs and results in swelling, putting pressure on the heart and lungs.

Medics at Sheffield’s Jessop Wing told Michelle and Faith’s dad Gareth Dawson she needed immediate treatment because the condition can result in complete organ failure.

Gareth, of Almond Road, Cantley, said: “The chances of survival can be so small with something like this that they asked us if we wanted to continue with the pregnancy.

“We said we wanted to carry on so they told us all they could do was drain her lung cavity by inserting a needle into her lungs while she was still in the womb.”

Rail engineer Gareth, 27, said many doctors won’t carry out the procedure because of the risks.

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These include miscarriage and the possibility of piercing a baby’s heart or lungs.

Thankfully the procedure was successful and medics at the specialist neo-natal unit at Sheffield’s Jessop Wing, were able to drain the fluid from Faith’s lung cavity.

But when Gareth and Michelle, aged 31, returned to the hospital in Sheffield a week later for a check-up, they were told the fluid had returned.

Gareth said: “They didn’t know if she was going to survive or not.”

The couple decided to allow doctors to fit a shunt in order to drain the amniotic fluid.

“They said it needed to happen or she wouldn’t have survived until she was born,” Gareth added.

The device was fitted during the 22nd week of Michelle’s pregnancy, meaning excess fluid could be drained throughout the rest of her pregnancy and giving Faith Hope the best possible chance of survival.

Despite the odds being stacked against them, Michelle gave birth to Faith Hope on February 4 in her 39th week of pregnancy.

Gareth said Faith was born breathing for herself and when she started crying it was the ‘best sound’ he had ever heard.

She was taken to the intensive care unit, where she received specialist treatment and was given the all clear.

The couple took Faith home to meet her sisters Alyssia, 11, and Courtney, nine, a week later.

Now the family want to ‘give something back’ to the staff at the Jessop Wing for saving Faith’s life.

They are hoping to raise £1,000 in a charity fishing match taking place at Aston Lakes on July 26.

* Log on to Faith Dawson’s charity fishing match to find out more or donate.