A sick baby whose image lying in a hospital bed battling the coronavirus shocked the nation has beaten the odds to recover fully.
Less than two weeks ago, six-month-old Erin Bates was in a heavy-duty unit hooked up to an oxygen machine surrounded by tubes and equipment.
The diagnosis of Covid-19 came after she had already overcome heart and trachea problems, which required major surgery.
Doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool told his delighted family yesterday that they had crossed.
Erin Bates, six months old, connected to a CPAP machine at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool while fighting coronavirus
Erin’s father Wayne said, “Erin has defeated the virus. It hit her hard with a few ups and downs, but we wanted people to know that coronavirus shouldn’t be a death sentence for people with pre-existing conditions.
“She is all smiles and talks to herself. “
Bates, 32, said Erin, who weighed only 5 pounds and 4 ounces, will remain a long-term patient due to her other medical conditions, but he and his wife Emma, 29, are “Extremely relieved”.
Because of the coronavirus rules, only one parent stayed with her at the hospital, which was his wife.
Yesterday, however, Mr. Bates was able to visit the hospital for the first time since being diagnosed with coronavirus.
He and his wife, from Bury, in Greater Manchester, have now created a Facebook group, Erin’s Journey, for people to read about their daughter’s journey throughout her medical treatment.
Erin’s case made headlines around the world after her diagnosis of Good Friday.
Her parents posted the heartbreaking picture of her lie to the hospital to remind people of the need to prevent the spread of the virus through social distancing.
Speaking at the time, Mr. Bates, a Toyota mechanic, said, “People still don’t take this epidemic seriously and it bothers me. I take it personally. “
Erin Bates at a later stage of recovery at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool
Mr. and Mrs. Bates received a surge of support on social media after the photo was posted with friends describing their daughter as a “brave little fighter.”
A friend, Caroline Brennan, commented on Erin’s photo after contracting covid-19, saying, “The NHS should use this photo of your brave daughter to show the public why they should stay inside and the anxiety that she talks to her parents. ‘
Despite Erin’s diagnosis, Mr. and Mrs. Bates believed that because their daughter – conceived naturally after a decade of testing during which they were told they could not have children – had already struggled ” against all odds “so many times she could overcome her last setback.
They also praised the efforts of NHS doctors and nurses.
Erin’s first six months were traumatic due to the discovery of a series of medical conditions, one of which required open heart surgery in December.
In January, she also suffered from respiratory syncytial virus, which causes bronchiolitis and pneumonia in babies and can be fatal.
Other conditions have affected his airways, tracheomalacia and bronchomalacia. These disorders affect the trachea and its branches in the lungs and already required the use of the oxygen machine.
Doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, above, told Erin’s delighted family that they had overcome their fear of coronaviruses
Erin was applauded by the nurses as her bed rolled out of Alder Hey’s high dependency unit yesterday FRI.
Bates said he was able to visit his wife but still cannot see Erin, as hospital policy states that only one family member can visit a patient while the coronavirus epidemic continues.
But he said: “It is difficult, but I understand the situation, especially after what we have experienced, because it is to reduce the risk of infection for other patients. “
Mr. Bates said that he and his wife had received tremendous public support.
He said they now hope that Erin, who still needs to use an oxygen machine but only at a low level of concentration, will continue to improve in the hospital and may be allowed to go home before his birthday in October.