Little Catherine Knopf started her life fighting in the NICU.
Little Catherine Knopf started her life fighting in the NICU.

Miracle baby’s fighting start to life

AT 29 and a half weeks pregnant, Donna Knopf had no idea that a bad headache and a high blood pressure would lead to an incredibly rough start to life for her little girl Catherine.

Donna's husband, Scott, said he was about to start his day like any other, before he ended up at the hospital with his wife and doctors telling the couple something wasn't right.

"They said luckily we came in because my wife would not have made it by the time I got home from work," he said.

Donna went to her GP first before heading to the maternity ward.

 

Little Catherine Knopf started her life fighting in the NICU.
Little Catherine Knopf started her life fighting in the NICU.

"As soon as she came in, doctors were scrambling everywhere because they didn't know how to treat it," he said.

"No matter what they gave her, the blood pressure wouldn't come down and it just kept going higher and higher and there were fears of her going into shock and seizure or possibly a coma.

"They said it was one of the top five worst cases they've ever seen at Ipswich Hospital."

Donna was taken into the operating theatre and little Catherine was born at almost 30 weeks premature. She was immediately rushed to the Brisbane Royal Women's Hospital while Donna stayed at Ipswich Hospital for treatment.

Catherine weighed only 940 grams and spent 67 days in the NICU before she could come home.

 

Little Catherine Knopf spent the first 94 days of her life fighting in the NICU.
Little Catherine Knopf spent the first 94 days of her life fighting in the NICU.

Scott said it was a shock for the whole family.

"It's nothing you can actually prepare for and you don't expect it to happen to you," he said.

"She had respiratory issues and the blood pressure would drop, which is normal but she wouldn't recoup. Her heart wasn't starting back up again on its own.

"Her breathing would drop out as well. She was too little and too weak to keep her body going.

"They were concerned about her brain as well, because of the pre-eclampsia and the high blood pressure my wife had at that time, that it would have affected her as well."

 

 

Little Catherine Knopf started her life fighting in the NICU.
Little Catherine Knopf started her life fighting in the NICU.

Now at one year old Catherine is Scott and Donna's little miracle baby. She is still fighting and doctors say the family will need to continue monitoring her development for another year.

"It's strange, every day you think about it and you think about how she's here."

"the doctors said she's going to be tough, she's going to be strong, she's going to be crazy and she's going to be very, very independent."


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