Little fighter from Gorebridge lives up to name

Sian Waugh with her son Conan
Sian Waugh with her son Conan

He might not have the muscles of his namesake, the fictional warrior Conan the Barbarian, but this little fighter has certainly proved his mettle in his 18 months on earth.

Conan Waugh from Gorebridge was one of the smallest babies ever born in Scotland when he arrived 15 weeks early in June 2014, weighing only 1lb 7oz.

His parents Sian (36), and Robert Waugh (37), spent 112 dark days by his side at the Simpson’s Special Care Baby Unit at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary as the little boy endured two blood transfusions to help him gain strength.

Sian, who worked for a building services company before becoming a mother, recalled Conan’s premature entrance into the world.

She said: “His early arrival was a huge shock, but we called him our little fighter.

“He was so tiny when he was born, about the size of a guinea pig.

“But he was kicking and crying already. They had to intubate him but I could see he had a feisty spirit.”

Just two days after he was born, doctors discovered a haemorrhage in his tiny lungs and Conan needed an emergency blood transfusion.

The newborn fought for his life in the unit, first using a ventilator and then later using a continuous positive airway pressure machine which helped him to breathe as his lungs developed. A second blood transfusion followed just weeks later.

Now Sian has spoken out to urge people to give blood to save other babies like Conan as donations traditionally drop by up to 20 per cent during the festive period.

She said: “Although the blood he received was only a tiny amount we immediately started calling blood transfusions ‘the tonic’ as the improvement in his health was so remarkable.

“He then needed another transfusion a few weeks later when his oxygen levels dipped again. Without these transfusions, we know he wouldn’t be here.”

Just three teaspoons of blood can save the life of a premature baby like Conan.

To register as a blood donor call 0345 90 90 999.