Hannah Miller will celebrate her birthday today, 17th November, at Ribby Hall, surrounded by her family – five-month old baby daughter Elsie, son Charlie and husband Nathan.
Rather aptly, Hannah shares her special day with World Prematurity Day, given Elsie came into the world eight weeks early in June.
Back then, Hannah was taken to Furness General Hospital with reduced movement and underwent a caesarean section, and it was hoped they could stay nearer their family home, but Elsie required more respiratory support, and spent two weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Preston Hospital, where Hannah and husband Nathan used the Bowland House facility, where relatives of patients can stay to be close by.
Elsie then spent three weeks back in Barrow, before returning home, and, as Hannah says: “It was a crazy time – it has got to be the hardest and most challenging time of our lives.
“But with the amazing care Elsie received from all the staff and the facilities at both Preston and Barrow, we now have our baby girl home!”
The family were so grateful for the care they received, Nathan, his brother Kieran and father Colin, Hannah’s father Wayne and brother Ben, as well as family friend Lewis Martin, decided to row the length and back of Lake Coniston – approximately 11 miles – to raise money for NICU, Bowland House, and Barrow special care baby unit.
The plan was to do it in inflatable kayaks, but the wet and windy weather ruled that out, so the group completed the mammoth effort in two borrowed two-man and two one-man kayaks, in around five hours in choppy and cold conditions in August.
And they were delighted with the amount they managed to raise – £2,200 in total, with £1,00 each going to NICU and the special care baby unit in Barrow, and £200 for Bowland House.
Earlier this month, they travelled down from Barrow to present a cheque to NICU, and, pictured, are the Miller family, Hannah, Nathan, son Charlie and daughter Elsie, with Neonatal Consultant Dr Madaiah and Emma Birkby, Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.