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Miracle baby from Fleetwood died of sepsis at 11 days old as family pledge to run Manchester Marathon for Baby Beat in her memory

Photo One: Carley with miracle baby, Maeva Elsie Cowburn, whose short life is a legacy of helping othersPhoto Two: Big sister Anais pays Maeva a visitPhoto Three: Miracle baby Maeva put up a brave fight for life (Photo: Baby Beat)
Photo One: Carley with miracle baby, Maeva Elsie Cowburn, whose short life is a legacy of helping othersPhoto Two: Big sister Anais pays Maeva a visitPhoto Three: Miracle baby Maeva put up a brave fight for life (Photo: Baby Beat)

Her parents Carley and Martin Cowburn will head teams made up of 25 aunts, uncles, other relatives and friends in the April 2024 race.

While both Carley and Martin, who ran the Manchester Marathon in full in 2022 in 4:37, will be members of different relay teams completing 10k each, others will run the same, the full distance or half marathon distance to raise a target £3,000 for the charity via an online giving page at www.gofundme.com/f/miraculousmaeva

Maeva was the couple’s miracle baby. Carley (37) suffers from endometriosis, a condition which can make conceiving more difficult. It took her 10 years and IVF to become pregnant with Maeva’s big sister Anais (four) but Maeva was a honeymoon baby, conceived naturally following Carley and Martin’s wedding last November.

Carley, who is a lead nurse specialising in infection control for Circle Health Group, working between its private hospitals in Lancaster and Blackburn, said: “Maeva was a miracle. My pregnancy with her was completely unexpected, a total surprise. After the struggle to have Anais, I didn’t think I could become pregnant naturally.”

At her 20 week scan with Maeva, Carley, who also runs her own aesthetics clinic, Anais Aesthetics, from her Fleetwood home, was told Maeva may have a chromosomal condition. She was referred to Manchester’s St Mary’s Hospital for further tests. Doctors there discovered Maeva was suffering from an ultra rare form of a very rare genetic syndrome, Kabuki KDM6A.

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It lead to Maeva developing another very serious and often fatal condition in the womb called Non Immune Fetal Hydrops and for this reason, Maeva was born at 33 weeks at the Royal Preston Hospital instead of the maternity unit at Blackpool Victoria.

As a very sick baby, Maeva was cared for by the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) team. Sadly, she developed E.coli septicaemia, which she was unable fight. Following her passing, Carley and Martin, who is also dad to Archie (12) and eight-year-old Oliver from a previous relationship, were given a special, private room that had been funded by Baby Beat so that they were able to spend more time with Maeva.

Carley said: “Throughout her short life, Maeva fought the greatest fight and made her daddy and I so unbelievably proud. Everyone who knew her loved her and we are going to keep her memory alive by raising money for amazing charities like Baby Beat.”

Carley is having marathon t-shirts with Maeva’s photo printed on them. Her t-shirt will also have “Maeva’s Mummy” written on it, while Martin’s will say “Maeva’s Daddy”. Carley added: “We are planning to make the marathon a celebration of Maeva. We want it to be a happy day.”

Carley is also writing a blog on being pregnant with a poorly baby, which she hopes will help other expectant parents in a similar situation. Read it at https://miraculousmaeva.wordpress.com/

Baby Beat is part of the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity family. It funds specialist equipment, patient services and comforts, clinical care, local research and training so that the maternity and gynaecology teams can offer the best possible outcomes for babies and mums in the Central Lancashire and Chorley area.

With Baby Beat’s support, NICU at the Royal Preston Hospital also provides care for premature and sick babies and their families from across Lancashire and South Cumbria. For further information on its work and how to support, visit www.babybeat.org.uk