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'Breast milk bank saved my baby's life'


Baby Roisín was so small, she fit in the palm of an adult’s hand

Baby Roisín was so small, she fit in the palm of an adult’s hand

Baby Roisín was so small, she fit in the palm of an adult’s hand

A mother of four has urged support for Ireland's Milk Bank after donated mother's milk helped critically support her miracle baby who was born at just 29 weeks and weighed only 460g (1lb).

Rebecca Fahy from Mayo paid an emotional tribute to the skilled doctors and nurses at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) at Holles Street in Dublin and the Fermanagh-based Milk Bank for their incredible support of her tiny daughter, Roisín. The Castlebar mother was rushed to NMH in early November from Mayo Maternity Hospital amid indications baby Roisín would be born prematurely.

"I was admitted to Holles Street three weeks before the birth and Roisín was delivered on November 23," she said.

Roisín was delivered at just 29 weeks - and weighed only 460g, around the weight of a package of butter.

The baby was so small she could fit in the palm of an adult's hand. Because the tiny infant's gut wasn't fully developed, she couldn't feed on formula and relied entirely on mother's milk. But eventually this had to be supplemented.


Donor milk was supplied from the Milk Bank at Irvinestown in Fermanagh by Western Health and the Social Care Trust.

Roisín thrived and stunned doctors and nurses with her growth. By January 23 she was well enough to be transferred to Mayo General Hospital to be closer to her family.

Roisín is now 1.7kg in weight and is responding very well to care. "She is absolutely gorgeous," her mother said.

Rebecca hopes the little girl will soon be able to make her first trip home to spend time with her adoring siblings.

"We are so grateful to the doctors and nurses at NMH -they are absolutely incredible.

"We are also very grateful for all the support from the Milk Bank. I didn't even know it existed before Roisín was born but it was a critical support."