A ‘miracle baby’ who was born with with a heart condition and weighed only 5lbs 4oz is now battling coronavirus.
The distraught family of six-month-old Erin Bates have released a heartbreaking photo of the tot on an oxygen machine surrounded by wires, tubes and equipment as they plead with the public to take the Covid-19 outbreak seriously.
The tot underwent open heart surgery and endured problems with her windpipe but after months of treatment she stood a good chance of recovery.
However, last Friday, she was confirmed as having the killer bug and be treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, Mail Online reports.
She is on a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine that supplies her with oxygen with her 29-year-old mum Emma Bates with her side.
Only one parent can stay with her so her dad Wayne, 32, is self-isolating at the family home in Bury, Greater Manchester, because of the contact he has had with his poorly daughter.
The couple are keeping in contact by phone calls and regular Facetime video chats.
Mr and Mrs Bates believe that because Erin has already beaten so many battles in her short life that she can win this latest fight.
However they are angry that some members of the public are still flouting the lockdown rules which may result in the virus continuing to spread.
Mr Bates, a mechanic for Toyota, old Mail Online: “People are still not taking this outbreak seriously and that upsets me. I take it personally.
“There was a picture I’ve seen of a beach where there was an ice cream hut open with people queuing outside like it was a normal day. It horrifies me that people still are not sticking to the lockdown measures. It does upset both of us.”
Mrs Bates wrote on Facebook : “All I’m seeing lately is jokes about coronavirus. I understand humour is very important to keep you going through this hard time but please think about those people it does effect.
“Our little girl has lung and heart disease and floppy airways and is still currently sitting in intensive care, if our little girl catches this virus she won’t be as lucky to fight it.
“The anxiety every time a new nurse or doctor comes into our bay is getting unbearable. And the simplest things like going to get a drink downstairs now scares me so much so that I don’t and I isolate myself so I don’t have to come into contact with anyone just to keep my little girl alive.
“So please people before posting jokes and silly comments please think about who might see or read it, as some of us are living in this nightmare and are going to find these months extremely difficult.”
In another Facebook post she wrote: “Both myself and Wayne are utterly heartbroken yet again that we are in a position where we may lose our little girl if she doesn’t carry on fighting.
“Please, please, please keep Erin in your prayers. We can’t lose her over this virus. She has battled through too much – we need her, she completes us.
“I hope that those who haven’t taken this virus serious read this and I hope it now sinks in.”
Mr Bates said that when Erin was born, he and his wife had been told they might not be able to have children so were ‘over the moon’ after trying to start a family for 10 years.
But their daughter’s first six months have been an emotional rollercoaster as she was diagnosed with a catalogue of medical conditions including a heart condition that meant she had open heart surgery in December.
In January, she also suffered a respiratory virus, which causes a potentially fatal bout of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in babies.
Erin also suffered tracheomalacia and bronchomalacia which affected her her windpipe and its branches into the lungs, and already required use of the CPAP machine.
She is currently in a stable condition and her parents have thanked the dedicated NHS workers at the hospital.
The family have received messages of support from well-wishers on Facebook.
One woman said : “Your little girl is clearly a fighter and beautiful…hope you are all safely back at home soon x”
Another wrote: “The NHS should use this photo of your brave daughter. To show the public why they should stay in doors. And the anxiety that it is causing her parents. Love to you and Wayne and to your most amazing brave Erin. Xxx”