Christmas Day baby Kee-Ijah goes home

  • “Our angel”: Kee-Ijah Bailey, born about ten weeks prematurely on Christmas Day, was finally able to go home on March 1 after spending months in hospital (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Proud mama: Elisha Joell is delighted to finally be able to hold her daughter out of the hospital (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Camera-shy: Elisha Joell with daughter Kee-Ijah Bailey, who was born ten weeks premature on Christmas Day (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Murry Bailey, left, sons Kimurry Bailey and Kimir Bailey, and Elisha Joell are delighted to finally have the latest addition to their family, Kee-Ijah, inset on the iPad after she was born about ten weeks’ premature on Christmas Day, at home with them (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Elisha Joell is delighted to be able to cradle her daughter in her arms at home.

Christmas Day baby Kee-Ijah Bailey, born ten weeks premature, was able to leave the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital a week ago.

Ms Joell, 38, said: “Kee-Ijah is doing very well. She is growing like a twig, as we would say.

“It’s really awesome to know that she has made it this far through the medical attention she needed. It’s just God’s gift — our angel.”

Ms Joell added: “I’m glad she’s home. It feels awesome. It’s really relaxing and less stressful than running back and forth to the hospital.

“It settles me that I am able to just deal with her now. I am able to dedicate that time to her.”

She said: “It’s really awesome to be able to hold her in my arms and not be stood over for extra care by nurses.”

Big brother, Kimurry, 9, said it was “really nice” to have his baby sister home and that she had grown so much.

Kee-Ijah weighed only 3lb 8oz when she was born at the hospital late on Christmas Day.

The tiny newborn was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit where she was put on life-support equipment and medication to help her to breathe.

Doctors decided she needed treatment overseas and Kee-Ijah was taken to the Sick Kids’ Hospital in Toronto, Canada, by air ambulance.

She made good progress and after nearly four weeks of treatment, she was able to return to Bermuda.

She spent a few more weeks in the special baby care unit at KEMH before she was allowed to go home.

Ms Joell said: “When we left the hospital, she weighed 6lbs 13oz.”

She pointed out that her daughter was now a “regular, normal birth size” and explained that doctors will continue to monitor her.

Ms Joell added: “She had bleeding on the brain, which hasn’t completely gone yet and hasn’t resolved itself.

“It hasn’t got any worse and they felt it wouldn’t get any worse, so we just have to watch the growth of her and hope it decreases with her growth.

“We also just have to watch her development.”

Ms Joell contacted the Lady Cubitt Compassionate Association to help fund her baby’s medical evacuation from the island.

The youngster received so much support from the public that the Bailey family raised enough money to repay the charity which helped fly her overseas for treatment.

Ms Joell said: “I would really like to thank the community for their prayers and financial support that they have given us.

“It was a pleasure to see that so many were willing and able to help us financially and so many were clasping their hands to give prayer to help her along the way.”

“I really appreciate their prayers and their financial support to allow Kee-Ijah to get the medical attention that she needed.”

Ms Joell also extended a special thank you to her sister-in-law, Marica Fubler, for starting the GoFundMe page that raised $18,270 and to Ricketta Warner.

She said Ms Warner stood beside her throughout and helped with the collection of donations and liaising with the LCCA.

Ms Joell also thanked the SCBU unit at KEMH for “their extended care once Kee-Ijah had returned from Canada”.