A baby who was crushed in the womb by a seat belt after surviving a car crash has defied the odds by celebrating her first birthday.
Hayley Mee, 32, and her fiance, Scott Price, 31, were both involved in a crash last September after a car reversed into them at traffic lights.
The force of the crash left pregnant Hayley in agony – her 31 week bump had been crushed by the seat belt gripping her stomach.
Instantly their unborn daughter became distressed and Hayley could feel her doing somersaults.
Hayley had gone into early labour and with nurses struggling to find the baby’s heartbeat, she was taken to theatre to have an emergency C-section.
Their new-born daughter, Felicity, stopped breathing shortly after birth but thankfully she was brought back to life and taken to intensive care.
After four weeks in hospital, Felicity was finally allowed home – and now one year later, she has just celebrated her first birthday.
Hayley, a full time mum, said: “As soon as the car reversed into ours I got an awful sharp pain across my stomach.
“It was an accident and no one was injured apart from me, I didn’t care about our car, I just wanted to get myself to hospital.
“I was terrified our baby wasn’t going to make it, Felicity was going crazy inside my womb, she was wriggling around and somersaulting over and over again.
“I had blood tests and although Felicity’s heart beat was going crazy at first, nurses couldn’t find it when they checked later on, I was hysterical, I thought we’d lost her.”
“That’s when doctors started rushing around and I was wheeled down to theatre to have a C-section.
“She was born weighing 3lb 5oz and although she wasn’t breathing at first, I soon heard her start crying.
“It was a huge wave of relief, no one knew how long or if she’d been deprived of oxygen in the womb or if she’d be OK in the neonatal ward, we just had to think positive.
“I couldn’t walk and had to wait 12 hours before I could even touch my baby girl, the whole thing was so traumatic but both me and Scott are so thankful to all the hospital staff who saved our daughter’s life.
“I finally got my first cuddle with her later that day and after four weeks, she was allowed home and weighed 5lbs.
“It was amazing to celebrate Felicity’s first birthday on September 21, last year we had no idea if she was going to survive the birth, let alone hit any milestones.
“Thankfully she suffered no brain damage or lasting injuries from the crash and we’re all enjoying life as a family.”
Hayley and Scott were on their way back from the Trafford Centre when they stopped their Chevrolet car at traffic lights.
Just seconds later, the car in front ploughed into theirs after the driver accidentally placed the vehicle into reverse.
Hayley added: “We’ve still got the car now, we only had a crack on the front grill but because I was pregnant and the seat belt was across my stomach, I literally felt crushed by the impact.
“It was so painful and I knew by Felicity’s movements that we needed to act fast and get to the nearest hospital..
“One minute we were happily living our lives as expectant parents and the next we terrified we were about to lose our first baby.
“Once I’d had Felicity, I was able to ring our parents and tell them the news, they were all in as much shock as we were.
“It was a nightmare at the time but now seeing Felicity doing so well it’s as though it never happened.
“Felicity loved every minute of her first birthday and we feel so incredibly lucky that things turned out the way they did.”