860g baby born during layover in Singapore: British parents looking to raise $250,000 to cover hospital bill
860g baby born during two-day layover here, now warded in SGH neonatal intensive care unit
A holidaying British couple were hoping to surprise their parents with the exciting news of an addition of the family when they returned home.
Ms Chloe Wilkinson, 30, a former teaching assistant, had discovered she was pregnant last November when she and her partner, Mr Patraic Walsh-Kavanagh, 27, were in Australia.
But during a two-day layover in Singapore while flying back to the UK from Australia last month, Ms Wilkinson, who was 24 weeks pregnant, went into labour prematurely, the Daily Mail reported.
The couple's baby son Lorcan, who was born on Feb 26 weighing just 0.86kg, is now warded in Singapore General Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit and the couple were told that the baby would not be fit enough to travel for another three months.
To cover the estimated S$250,000 (£140,000) hospital bill and to take their son back home, the couple are looking to raise the money through a GoFundMe campaign.
As of press time, they have raised more than £50,000.
Ms Wilkinson and Mr Walsh-Kavanagh are now staying in a shared flat close to SGH. She told the Daily Mail: "Every day I go into the hospital I get a knot in my stomach waiting to hear the update from the intensive care team about Lorcan's progress and condition as he's still in a critical condition.
"We're professional people who work hard, but it's obviously a huge sum and anything anyone can offer to help would be greatly appreciated."
The couple left the UK in December 2017 to travel around Asia before working in Victoria, Australia, according to the BBC, and are using the money they saved to remain by their son's side.
They told British media that the travel insurance they took does not cover pregnancy.
Ms Wilkinson was rushed to the hospital after experiencing bleeding and cramps on Feb 19, and she started dilating two days later. She was diagnosed with an infection and as her condition worsened over the week, doctors told her it was not safe to prolong the labour.
Mr Walsh-Kavanagh, a former plumber, told the Daily Mail that when he admitted Ms Wilkinson as a patient, he was handed an estimated bill of £140,000, covering the costs of hospitalisation, delivery and intensive care for their son.
He said: "We were in a complete state of shock, and fear completely took over."
An SGH spokesman told The New Paper yesterday that the bill quoted was only an estimate, which was communicated to the couple as part of financial counselling for all patients.
She was unable to disclose information about the baby's condition, citing patient confidentiality.
Ms Wilkinson said: "It's very early still... But with each day that passes without infection or further complications, he gets stronger."