Parents of baby boy born early in Turkey able to touch their son for the first time

Parents of a baby boy - born three months early, while on holiday in Turkey - have been able to touch their son for the first time.

Baby Jack, who weighed just over 1kg and was only 30cm long, was rushed to intensive care following his birth.

He came as a surprise to the family who were three days into their 10 day holiday when he arrived on 30 June. 

Jack's heart was restarted and he was intubated to help him breathe. While his mum Emma Baxter, 39, was rushed to theatre for emergency surgery.

Mum Emma with baby Jack Credit: Family photo

Ms Baxter says she had been given permission to go on holiday by her midwife, after only finding out she was pregnant a month ago. 

“I was initially undergoing biopsies for cancer but then found out I was five months pregnant. It was a massive shock as I’m nearly 40,” she said. 

Since then, the family have faced a desperate situation, with tiny Jack in a hospital an hour away from their hotel and medical costs spiralling into the tens of thousands.

Baby Jack on life-support in hospital.

Ms Baxter, who is manager at Norwich Airport McDonald’s, and her husband, Daniel Metcalf, were only allowed to first visit Jack on 5 July.

Jack currently needs around the clock care, and the family, who are from Norwich, wants to get him home and get the support of a local specialist hospital. 

Doctors said he could only be flown to a UK hospital in a Capital Air Medical Ambulance at a cost of £42,000.

At this stage the family are just relieved to have finally been allowed to touch Jack.

Ms Baxter said: “Not being able to hold Jack has been absolutely heartbreaking, so to finally be able to touch him in his incubator has given us a bit of a lift.

“It was lovely to look at his face properly for the first time too – he is absolutely beautiful, and we just want to be able to hold him and take him home as soon as he is able to fly.

Jack’s dad, Daniel Metcalf said: “Communication here is very difficult but doctors have said Jack is getting better which is such a massive relief.

"When the doctor opened the doors to his incubator and indicated it was OK for us to touch him, we were so happy – it has really boosted our morale.

"He looks so much better and is very active, his hands were moving everywhere. It’s the first time we have seen his face, which is amazing.”

Emma, Daniel and their two daughters Milly and Lilly in Turkey Credit: Family photo

The family currently remains in Turkey, together with their two young daughters.

A fundraising page has been set up to raise enough money to help get Jack back to the UK on a medical flight.

So far more than £25,000 has been raised but as much as £60,000 may be required to cover costs and fly Jack home safely.

Ms Baxter said: “We’re so pleased Jack is getting stronger and we just hope we can all be together at home in the UK as soon as possible. This is an ongoing nightmare but we’re so grateful for all the support that has been shown to us so far.”

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