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Ella is the best Christmas present of all for Stenhousemuir family

Jonny and Claire with their baby daughter Ella, who returned home to Scotland in time for Christmas after being born in Poland three months premature. Picture: Michael Gillen

Jonny and Claire with their baby daughter Ella, who returned home to Scotland in time for Christmas after being born in Poland three months premature. Picture: Michael Gillen

 

A baby born three months premature while her mum was on holiday in Poland has returned home in time to celebrate her first Christmas.

Ella Dunbar spent the first seven weeks of her life in hospital in the historic city of Krakow after she was born weighing just 2lb 2oz on September 20.

Mum Claire Dickson (28) was not due to give birth until December 8, so had travelled abroad presuming she still had plenty of time to prepare for the arrival of her first child.

Now both mother and child are doing well and were joined by dad Jonny Dunbar (31) for their first Christmas together, which was spent at Claire’s parents in Dennyloanhead.

“To have her home is the best Christmas present we could have wished for,” said Jonny.

“We didn’t buy her extra presents for the day itself - she’s been spoiled rotten by all our friends and family since she arrived home last month.”

It’s a happy ending to what was an extremely stressful time for the young family from Stenhousemuir. Jonny had to make regular trips to and from Poland due to work commitments, while Claire, a support worker for a housing association, rented a flat in Krakow after she was discharged from hospital so she could spend every day with Ella.

Jonny, a restaurant manager in Stirling, said the days after the birth were “manic”.

He added: “We have received help from Claire’s insurance company and the British Embassy in Warsaw gave details of official translators we could pay to use in obtaining Ella’s birth certificate.”

Claire had been enjoying a short break with her grandmother in Krakow when she went into labour just an hour before a taxi was booked to take her to the airport.

The couple wish to thank the many people who have sent messages of support, and also thank Bliss, a charity that supports premature babies.

 

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