Sunday 25 August 2019

Ex-boxer Carl Froch reveals daughter's early fight for life

Carl Froch has revealed his baby daughter Penelope's traumatic early days
Carl Froch has revealed his baby daughter Penelope's traumatic early days

Former professional boxer Carl Froch has spoken about the traumatic birth of his daughter, revealing she had to fight for her life.

Froch, also known by his nickname "The Cobra", and his fiancee Rachael Cordingley welcomed their daughter, Penelope, on September 11 this year, but she was diagnosed with a serious illness just hours after a traumatic birth.

He told Hello! magazine her birth was complicated by shoulder dystocia, when the baby's head emerges but one of the shoulders becomes stuck behind the mother's pubic bone.

Froch said: " It is fitting that she is a boxer's daughter because she is a fighter. She was fighting for her life the day she was born."

He said that after she was born, Penelope appeared lifeless as she had been starved of oxygen.

"I was in shock. I couldn't speak," Froch said.

"Being a fighter, I tend to take the bull by the horns but I couldn't do anything and that made me feel helpless.

"Her head came out at 5.59am and she was born at 6.02 - the same length as a boxing round; the longest, most traumatic round of my life.

"When she made that first feeble cry, I burst into tears. It takes a lot to upset me but this was the most distressing thing I have ever experienced."

A day later the family were back in hospital as Cordingley had a severe headache, and they had taken baby Penelope with them.

Froch explained: "A nurse noticed that Penelope had a temperature and was a bit lethargic.

"Within an hour, she was in an incubator, hooked up to an intravenous drip and being given antibiotics and oxygen. We hadn't even come in for Penelope but for the next two weeks I was in and out of hospital and feared the worst."

Penelope, the couple's third child together, was diagnosed with group B streptococcus infection, which can be deadly for infants, and suspected meningitis.

Froch said he hadn't given up but feared he may have to " come to terms with the fact that we might not bring our baby home".

He said: "It was a rollercoaster of emotions, the worst two weeks of my life."

After ten days on antibiotics, Penelope had recovered and Rachael calls her a "little miracle baby".

She told Hello!: "I sometimes wondered if we'd ever get out of hospital. Although there were some babies who had been there for months, so we were lucky."

:: To read more of the interview with Carl and Rachael, pick up the latest issue of Hello! magazine.

PA Media

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