AN Appleton youngster has defied the odds this week by reaching her second birthday, despite weighing just 650 grams when she was born.

Betty Batt was born at 23 weeks in June 2017 and put up the strongest of fights to survive.

After spending her first 13 months in hospital, she was discharged and allowed home with her family.

Celebrating the special milestone this week, Betty's parents Karen and Phil were determined to give something back to the hospital and unit who saved their baby's life and continue to care for Betty.

Phil, who is head of drama at Cardinal Newman High School in Latchford, praised the support his family receives from the school and its feeder St Monica's Catholic Primary School in Appleton.

Karen and Phil's older children Stanley and Martha attend St Monica's and so both schools held a charity event on Wednesday to raise funds for equipment on the neonatal unit at the Liverpool Women's Hospital.

Warrington Guardian:

Betty Batt

Karen said: "Betty has a long road ahead but celebrated her second birthday this week; a milestone she would not have reached without the incredible NICU and amazing doctors and nurses who fought with her on her journey.

"She is such a happy, fun little girl and we love her very much.

"As a family we are incredibly grateful and wanted to give something back.

"We are so lucky that both St Monica’s and Cardinal Newman have joined us in this quest and have also been a huge support since Betty’s very early arrival."

Warrington Guardian: The Batt family The Batt family

On Wednesday, the schools held 'Go Neon for Neonatal' day, with pupils and staff wearing their brightest neon clothes, filling the school’s with colour to raise money as part of the ‘Big Tiny Steps Appeal’ for the neonatal intensive care unit.

Karen added: "The money raised will go some way to enhancing and improving certain facilities in the new NICU.

"In particular parent and family rooms, an outdoor sensory garden, and the end of life suite as sadly not all babies make it home.

Warrington Guardian:

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Betty is now two

"We are incredibly lucky that we brought Betty home but we have also been in a position where we left hospital with empty arms, when our son George died shortly after his premature birth in 2016.

"The importance of this time you have with your baby cannot be underestimated and having the opportunity and means to make some memories is essential.

"The neonatal intensive care unit is a very difficult place to be and the journey can be long and pretty terrifying.

"These babies are very sick and without this specialist care simply would not have the chance of survival."

Warrington Guardian: Pupils at St Monica's Catholic Primary School wearing their brightest neon Pupils at St Monica's Catholic Primary School wearing their brightest neon

Both schools raised a fantastic amount and the Big Tiny Steps appeal will benefit from £1500 raised by pupils and staff. 

If anybody would like to donate to the Big Tiny Steps Appeal you can do so by calling 0151 7024194 or text BIGTINYSTEPS to 70085 to make a one-off donation of £10.