Her baby was not due to be born for well over two months.
But no one had told little Kai Buckley that – and when he arrived nearly 10 weeks early, and with a hole in his heart, she feared doctors faced a battle to keep him alive.
Mum Rachael Feast, of Barnby Dun, had suffered bad morning sickness while pregnant with what was due to be her first baby.
Then one day she came home feeling unwell. She was feeling unwell enough that she took herself to Doncaster Royal Infirmary, to see her midwife.
The midwife carried out some checks, and wired Rachael up to a heart monitor to check her baby’s heart rate.
It was dropping, and had reached the point were the medics feared it had become too low.
She rang the consultant, and was told to keep an eye on it for 30 minutes for any changes.
Half an hour later, she was rushed to the operating theatre for an emergency caesarian section, where they delivered baby Kai.
Rachael said: “I was aged 22 and having to go through all this.
“I could not see Kai for 24 hours because they rushed him straight to neo-natal.
“When I came round, his dad, Liam, was there with his mum and my mum. They told me he’d been taken to special care because he needed help with his breathing.I was devastated.
“I saw Kai the day after, and the nurses had made him stable.”
Kai was on a ventilator for a week, and fed via a tube. He was given injections to strengthen his lungs.
But there was still concern about his heart, as the rate kept going up and down. Medics originally planned to send him the specialist children’s heart unit in Leeds – but in the end the heart unit sent its consultant to Doncaster.
They diagnosed a hole in his heart, but said it would close by the age of one.
Aged four weeks. Kai was finally allowed home.
“The staff were amazing,” said Rachael. “No one ever said he wouldn’t make it, but it was touch of go, like for any premature baby.
“It was so worrying be told there was something wrong with your baby’s heart..
“There are no words for how amazing they are at the hospital.”
Kai is now a healthy eight-year-old boy.
But Rachael, now aged 30, has not forgotten the care her son received as a premature baby, and has arranged a Halloween Party fundraiser for the hospital on Sunday October 28 at Barnby Dun Social Club.
DJ Dave Kendall is providing the music for children’s event for free, and local businesses have provided items for the food, and for a raffle.
“I want to say a big thank-you to all those who have supported the event,” she said.
‘Hospital saved me and my baby’
Mum of three Zoe Snodin says she owes both her own life and that of her daughter to the maternity unit at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
Zoe, aged 32. went into the hospital expecting a straight forward labour – but that proved to be anything but the case.
“During labour there was an issue,” she said. “They had to take me into the operating theatre for an emergency caesarian.
“They had to get Isla out as soon as possible. She had developed breathing problems due to being starved of oxygen, due to a placental abruption”
Placental abruption is a serious condition in which the placenta starts to come away from the inside of the womb wall before the baby has delivered. This is an emergency because it means that the support system for the baby is failing. Isla was not getting her oxygen supply.
“They saved Isla’s life,” she said. “They potentially also saved my life, as it is a condition that can kill both mum and baby. When I Iooked back at the notes, they had put it as a category one emergency for mum and baby.
“The medical staff were amazing and Isla and I probably owe them our lives.”
Isla is now a healthy four-year-old girl.
Grateful Zoe, also from Barnby Dun, has help arrange auction prizes for Rachael’s fundraiser.
She has managed to get hold of top sporting memorabilia, thanks to her dad – the former Doncaster Rovers footballer and manager Ian Snodin, who is now an ambassador for Premier League Everton.
He has passed on to her signed goalkeeping gloves from England star Jordan Pickford, a signed boxing glove from boxer Tony Bellew, and a golf glove signed by Ryder Cup gold star Tommy Fleetwood, as well as a signed Everton shirt.