Mother Tegan Wain’s breast milk travelled 4,200km across Australia to help her premature baby


Howa a mother’s breast milk travelled on a 4,200km journey around Australia to help a severely premature baby thrive

  • Darwin mum’s baby Levi born after 24 weeks and needed emergency surgery
  • He was then flown to Mater Mothers’ Hospital at Brisbane for special care
  • The hospital flew 150 bottles of her breast milk from Darwin to help his recovery

An epic 4,200-kilometre rescue mission to bring a severely premature baby his distraught mum’s breast milk has helped the infant survive.

When Levi Atkinson was born at just 24 weeks in Darwin he needed emergency surgery then had to be airlifted to Brisbane for specialist care because of complications from the operation.

Tiny Levi, who weighed just 740 grams at birth, needed life-saving surgery for a perforated bowel.

An epic 4,200-kilometre rescue mission to bring a severely premature baby his distraught mum’s breast milk has helped the infant survive.

Tiny Levi, who weighed just 740 grams at birth, needed life-saving surgery for a perforated bowel

Tiny Levi, who weighed just 740 grams at birth, needed life-saving surgery for a perforated bowel

Then at four days old he suffered an infection that doctors said he might not recover from, the ABC reported.

Mother Tegan Wain went with her son to Brisbane’s Mater Mothers’ Hospital, but had to leave behind 150 bottles of breast milk she had expressed in the fridge of their Darwin home.

As his care progressed, doctors realised to give Levi the best chance he needed his mum’s early breast milk.

‘He needs that milk to help his gut develop and help his gut stay healthy, help him grow and get the immune benefits,’ said Mater director of neonatology Pita Birch.

Babies born prior to 28 weeks have much higher than usual chances of health issues as they grow. Early breast milk helps their immune systems. 

At his most recent weigh-in, Ms Wain said her 'little warrior' now weighed just under 2.6 kilograms, more than triple his birth weight (Pictured, Tegan Wain and Rodney Atkinson with their son Levi)

At his most recent weigh-in, Ms Wain said her ‘little warrior’ now weighed just under 2.6 kilograms, more than triple his birth weight (Pictured, Tegan Wain and Rodney Atkinson with their son Levi)

As his care progressed, doctors realised to give Levi the best chance he needed his mum's early breast milk

As his care progressed, doctors realised to give Levi the best chance he needed his mum’s early breast milk

The stress of the birth and its aftermath meant Ms Wain’s supply of fresh breast milk began to dry up.

So the hospital launched an extraordinary 24-hour mission, packing the milk stored in her freezer back home in Darwin into a giant icebox and flying it – via Adelaide – to Brisbane.

At his most recent weigh-in, Ms Wain said her ‘little warrior’ now weighed just under 2.7 kilograms, almost four time his birth weight.

In a powerful Facebook post she wrote that it sometimes ‘feels like he can’t fight anymore’.

‘He’s been fighting for so long and [it seems] he just can’t do it any more … it’s heart-breaking and breath-taking and will show you that life is a battle and not going to be handed to you.’

Ms Wain said she was felling more ‘settled’ and planned to take him home to Darwin.

She also opened up about the dizzying experience of birth and her fears he might not survive.

‘A nurse will walk towards you and tell you they are caring for your baby. This will be your first kick to the guts, someone else looking after your baby,’ she wrote in a powerful Facebook post. 

She also opened up about the dizzying experience of birth and her fears her premature son Levi might not survive

She also opened up about the dizzying experience of birth and her fears her premature son Levi might not survive

‘They will tell you what’s happening, what all the tubes, needles, monitors, lines, and beeps are but none of it will register and you will forever be asking again what things are for.’

Ms Wain also recounted the stress of not being able to have skin-to-skin contact with her newborn after being told how important it was.  

‘But there are literal walls between you and you can’t help but think the worst may be or may have happened to him,’ she said.

‘You see your child fight for every breath, defy the odds or in our case stick his two middle fingers up at the statistics.

‘We already feel like he can say “watch this Mummy and Daddy”.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk