A routine home visit from a midwife is credited with saving three-week old Tully Orr’s life after she had turned blue due to a lack of oxygen.
A routine home visit from a midwife is credited with saving three-week old Tully Orr’s life after she had turned blue due to a lack of oxygen.

MIRACLE BABY: Tully’s incredible tale of survival

A routine home visit from a Townsville University Hospital midwife is credited with saving three-week old Tully Orr's life after she had turned blue due to a lack of oxygen.

Tully had a rough start to life, born prematurely at 35 weeks and three days before developing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common respiratory infection.

Mum Alison Orr said the first month of Tully's life was a whirr of hospital admissions before a routine visit from a midwife sent their world crashing down.

Tully Orr, the 12 miracles of Christmas.
Tully Orr, the 12 miracles of Christmas.

"Tully was having some on-and-off breathing difficulties that we thought was just a common cold, but she had started to turn blue when a midwife came for a home visit," she said.

"The midwife told us to get Tully to hospital, but when she left, she came right back and said: 'Actually, call an ambulance right now'.

"Tully spent four days on a breathing machine and in those first couple of days we just couldn't see there being a happy outcome.

"It is a terrible thing to see your baby not being able to breathe on their own."

Tully had a failure of the central nervous system, which occasionally occurs in infants, and wasn't getting enough oxygen to her little body.

"Her brain was already a little bit fuzzy because she'd been born early, had some complications and then had RSV on top of all of that," she said.

"I'd never been to an intensive care ward before and ever since every time Tully has had a sniffle or a cold you go right back to remembering that experience," Ms Orr said.

Tully Orr, the 12 miracles of Christmas.
Tully Orr, the 12 miracles of Christmas.

"I'd just like to say to those nurses on the ward that they helped pull our family through. The work they did caring for Tully and our family was very touching and really important to us."

The Orr family of Alison, partner Darcy, Tully and her three-year-old brother Remi relocated from Townsville to Brisbane in June 2020.

Alison said that, thankfully, Tully had not required another hospital ­admission since the visit to Townsville University Hospital's pediatric intensive care unit.

"I think once you've been through this, you learn not to be as afraid and to be hopeful that your child is in good hands," she said.

"When we were in hospital this 'miracles' feature had just come out in the newspaper and I remember reading it and just getting hope from other families that had been through it and come out the other side."

Originally published as MIRACLE BABY: Tully's incredible tale of survival


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