Christmas prayer for Kee-Ijah
Elisha Joell is still waiting to cradle her most precious Christmas present in her arms.
But for now all she can do is gaze lovingly at her tiny daughter Kee-Ijah Bailey and talk to her as she is monitored around the clock in the neonatal intensive care unit after she was born ten weeks premature on Christmas Day.
Ms Joell said: “It’s been very hard and stressful so far because I have not even been allowed to hold her.
“I can see her and be next to her as much as I want to, but right now we are waiting to see how her lungs develop.
“I talk to her all the time and I have seen her smile. But it’s been very difficult.
“The doctors say she is doing well — but it’s been a really worrying time.
“Even when I first came into the hospital I was asking the Lord to just give us more time.
“But Kee-Ijah decided the time was right for her.
“She is so tiny, no bigger than a children’s size seven shoe — we just have to see how she responds to the medication.”
Ms Joell, 38, was celebrating Christmas with her family when she felt her stomach harden.
She said: “We had opened all the presents earlier in the day and at around 5pm we headed down to the Warwick Workmen’s Club field.
“I was chasing around after my youngest son, Kimir, as he tried out his new scrambler bike and we were having a great time.
“My mom called us off the hill for dinner when I felt a whole lot of tension in my stomach.
“The next thing I felt was my water break and I realised something was wrong.”
Ms Joell’s father rushed his daughter and her partner Murry Bailey from Warwick to hospital, where only four hours later Kee-Ijah was born weighing only 3lb 8oz.
The tiny newborn was rushed to the children’s intensive care unit where she is on life support equipment and medication to help her breathe.
Little Kee-Ijah will continue to be monitored by doctors in the hospital over the coming days.
Ms Joell said she hoped she would soon be able to take her first daughter home to meet the rest of her family.
She added: “I am very relieved we have reached this stage and not had to fly off island for treatment, but we still have some way to go.
“I just want to be able to hold her now and take her home.”
‘Land grabs’ back on PLP agenda
World Triathlon provides economic boost
National living wage moves closer
Burt criticises OBA over voter information
Efforts to address rising healthcare costs
Repeat visitor Voigt dies
Discovering men behind the masks
Take Our Poll