Coronavirus: Scottish mum 'heartbroken' at being unable to hold newborn baby

21 April 2020, 14:31

Alan Zycinski

By Alan Zycinski

A Scottish mother has said she was left "heartbroken" and "terrified" at being unable to hold her newborn baby who had contracted coronavirus.

Tracy McGuire, from Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, needed a caesarean section eight weeks early at University Hospital Wishaw following complications with symptoms and because of her high blood pressure.

Her young daughter, Paton, is believed to be among the youngest people in Scotland to have tested positive for Covid-19.

Shortly after being born, the little girl was taken to an incubation unit in order to keep her isolated.

Tracy asked NHS workers - who she heaped praise upon - whether or not she would be able to get skin-to-skin contact with her daughter.

"That is the first thing you think about," she explained.

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Tracy McGuire was able to isolate with Paton
Tracy McGuire was able to isolate with Paton. Picture: Tracy McGuire

"They said it was very unlikely that I was going to get that moment. It was the most terrifying situation of my life.

"I just wanted to see her face and I wanted my husband to see her before he got sent down the road.

"I kept thinking, 'she'll have been born a full day and not seen her daddy.' At that point, it's heartbreaking to try and understand your baby is in the best place she needs to be."

Tracy added: "It's heartbreaking because you're not the one looking after her."

Despite her fears she would have to leave the hospital without Paton, Tracy was then allowed to isolate with her. However, she was only able to see her daughter for about an hour each day.

Her husband John was unable to visit for fear of spreading the virus.

Paton's father John was later reunited with the family
Paton's father John was later reunited with the family. Picture: Tracy McGuire

But after two weeks in the hospital, where Paton remained asymptomatic, she then tested negative twice and has since returned home with her mother - where the pair have been reunited with dad.

The family been advised to isolate for a couple of weeks to make sure they are all safe, which Tracy says poses its own challenges.

However, she stressed she is just thankful to NHS staff for risking their lives to help their baby.

"It's horrible not being able to see my mum because I've just given birth to her first grandchild. 

"But they (NHS staff) were amazing. They loved her. Paton has more aunties in neo-natal now than we know what to do with.

"They would update us when we couldn't see her. They got pictures of her smiling, with wee hats on - we cannot thank them enough."