'We just want to hold our son' - Plea for help to bring miracle baby home
- Credit: Daniel Metcalf
A woman whose pregnancy was mistaken for cancer has given birth three months early in Turkey.
And now tiny baby Jack is fighting for his life in an incubator about 2,500 miles from home.
Mum, Emma Baxter, and dad, Daniel Metcalf, and their two daughters Milly, 10, and Lilly, 6, from Mile Cross, jetted out to the resort of Side last week to celebrate the news she was cancer free - and they would be adding to their family.
But just three days into the holiday Ms Baxter began to feel unwell and, before she knew it, her waters had broken.
The 39-year-old said: "I was rushed to the local hospital and within 15 minutes of arriving, Jack was born.
“We were only allowed to see him for two minutes, which has been really traumatic.
"Jack was then transferred to a specialist paediatric intensive care hospital in Antalya, which is an hour away from our hotel.”
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Jack, who weighed 2.2lbs and was just 12inches long, had to have his heart restarted and tubes put in to help him breathe. He was taken straight to intensive care.
And Ms Baxter was also rushed into theatre for emergency surgery after haemorrhaging and struggling to deliver the placenta.
Now, the family have been told that Jack, who wasn't due until September 24, will need to remain in hospital for up to four months and they are facing a bill of tens of thousands of pounds to get him home and cover the spiralling costs.
The couple, who have been together for 12 years, visited their son in hospital - which is costing about €1,000 per day - for the first time on yesterday.
Ms Baxter, who is a manager at the McDonald's branch at Norwich Airport, said: "It hasn’t sunk in yet - what we’re actually going through.
"We’re both absolutely exhausted and just want to be able to hold our son.
“When we’ve called the hospital for updates all they’re interested in is when we are going to make a payment.
“My girls have been in tears. Danny and I are trying to be strong and keep things going together until they are in bed.
“At one point, Danny thought he had lost me and Jack. He’s at breaking point.”
The family booked their first holiday in five years as a package deal and assumed they had insurance but they later discovered that it was not included.
And with the cost of a flight home - with a medical team and Capital Air Ambulance - estimated at about £42,000, they did not know how they would be able to pay it.
But now family, friends and colleagues back in the UK have stepped in to help with fundraising and a GoFundMe page has been set up.
“The support of our family as well as my boss, Kevin Foley, has been such a huge help," said Ms Baxter.
“Danny and I cried when Kevin offered to help us straightaway. It’s been a massive relief and has taken some of the pressure off us."
Mr Foley, who owns 10 branches of McDonald’s across Norfolk, said: “As soon as I heard of Emma’s plight in Turkey, I stepped in to offer as much support as I could from the UK.
“I’m in constant contact with both Emma and Danny and am trying to arrange the £42,000 flight to get Jack back home to continue his treatment at a local specialist hospital.”
Mr Metcalf, a self-employed window cleaner and his daughters, who attend Kinsale Junior School and Kinsale Infant School, were due to return home on Thursday, July 7, but have decided to remain at their hotel in Turkey while Ms Baxter recovers, and they await news on Jack.
To donate, visit the family's GoFundMe page here.