Minnie-Mae's story

Expecting a baby should be a joyous time, but when Courtney was just 20 weeks pregnant with daughter Minnie-Mae, she got the news every parent dreads. 

‘The scan just lit up like a Christmas tree. She had blood in the bowel, severe brain damage, fluid on her heart, fluid on her liver, microcephaly, anaemia, my placenta was failing, just everything was wrong.’

Professional photo of Minnie-Mae with pink background.

‘When I was pregnant, my biggest fear was not being able to afford a funeral for my daughter.’

Courtney had contracted cytomegalovirus early in her pregnancy, a common virus harmless to adults but which can cause severe health issues to unborn babies. 

After getting such devastating news, Courtney was referred to us, where our Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) were able to support her through her pregnancy. 

‘None of my family or friends knew what to say to me, but the CNSs at Martin House just did, and they were so respectful of my opinion,’ — Courtney. 

Minnie-Mae enjoying some sensory play.
Mum Courtney and Minnie playing on swing in Martin House.

‘I genuinely don’t know what I’d have done without Martin House’

“They used to speak to me on the phone a couple of time a week, and visit me every week, and it just made those days a bit brighter. They even came to scans and hospital appointments with me. I look back now, I genuinely don’t know what I’d have done without Martin House. 

‘We prepared for the worst, but prepared for the best as well, so they helped me to think about where we’d want a funeral, really hard things like that. But they also made me think about what if I took her home, how special would that be? It wasn’t all negative.’  

‘She’s so good, so loving and happy’

Minnie was born at 34 weeks, and the family came to Martin House where they had a photo shoot and did memory making activities as the future was so uncertain. 

However, two-and-a-half years on, Minnie is doing much better than expected, and still receiving support from Martin House. While she has serious health issues, including seizures, global developmental delay and brain damage, she recently started walking. 

‘She’s so good, so loving and happy. But I think she’d be 10 times worse without the support we’ve had from Martin House,’ — Courtney. 

Professional photo of Minnie-Mae wearing a headband and pink dress with a black background.
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