Young girl born three months early raises money for Leeds hospital that saved her life

A young girl who was born three months prematurely has raised more than £100 for the Leeds hospital that saved her life.

By Rebecca Marano
Sunday, 8th November 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Sunday, 8th November 2020, 7:16 am
Chloe and David Dolby with Maya when she was nine-months-old.
Chloe and David Dolby with Maya when she was nine-months-old.

Little Maya Dolby, aged eight, was born on New Year's Eve in 2011, after her mum Chloe unexpectedly went into labour at just 24 weeks pregnant.

Chloe, from Mirfield, had been getting ready for a New Year’s Eve celebration at a friend’s house when she started feeling unwell.

She and husband David went to Dewsbury and District Hospital as a precaution and were shocked to hear that she was going into labour.

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“I just went into shock, ” Chloe told the Dewsbury Reporter at the time, “I just thought, ‘I need to stay calm’. I think we were in denial, even after she was born and she was taken away.”

Maya weighed just 1lb 3oz when she was born and doctors feared there was little hope for the newborn.

She was quickly transferred to Leeds Children’s Hospital where she underwent a heart operation.

She also had nine blood transfusions.

Tiny Maya was then transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she had two eye operations.

Mrs Dolby said: "Every time the phone rang we were preparing ourselves for bad news.

"We were told that Maya had just a 20 percent chance of survival and she would have life-limiting adjustments.”

But Maya defied the odds and after five-and-a-half weeks, she was big and strong enough for a first cuddle.

After a few more months, her mum and dad were finally able to take her home.

Eight years on, Maya decided to give back to the hospital staff who saved her life after being inspired by Captain Tom Moore's fundraising efforts on TV.

The caring schoolgirl decided to set up her own ‘walk-by’ Starbucks in her garden to raise money for Leeds Cares, the charity for Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

Thanks to her efforts, Maya raised £106 for Leeds Cares to support the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Leeds Children's Hospital.

And Maya's hard work did not go unrewarded.

A manager of two Starbucks branches in Leeds saw Maya’s fundraising efforts online and clubbed together with a district manager to send her a thank you package, complete with lots of Starbucks goodies, an apron and her very own name badge.

Maya’s mum Chloe said, “Maya was absolutely made up to be recognised by Starbucks for her fundraising, it was such a thoughtful gesture from them.

"It was only recently that Maya started to ask questions about her scars and has begun to understand what happened to her when she was a baby and about the difference the NHS makes, this has really spurred her on to continue supporting her local hospitals."

About Leeds Cares

Leeds Cares is the charity for Leeds Teaching Hospitals. We support NHS staff to deliver the best care for patients and their families, by raising funds for equipment, services, education and research.

Leeds Cares provides support for eight areas which include Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds Children’s Hospital, Leeds Cancer Centre, St James’s University Hospital, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Seacroft Hospital, Wharfdale Hospital and Leeds Dental Institute.

Leeds Cares supports NHS staff to deliver the best care for over a million patients and their families each year. Working with local communities, schools and businesses across the city and beyond, each year we provide £5 million in additional funding for Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.

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