By Molly Pennington


THIS BABY girl born at 24 weeks was dubbed ‘A living medical miracle’ after being given an only eight to ten percent of survival when her intubating tube nearly killed her.

Born to parents Jasmine and Troy Tobias (both 28) Isla Tobias (now two) weighed only 558 grams when she was born in September 2020.

She was intubated at birth as she needed help breathing and a nasal gastric tube was inserted, but the procedure went disastrously wrong when the NG tube went the wrong way.

Isla ended up suffering from bowel and gullet perforation and required life-saving surgery at three weeks old. She was given an only eight to ten percent of surviving the surgery.

Thankfully she pulled through, spending 140 days in Norfolk and Norwich University hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) before being discharged under the care of 13 different specialists.

Isla has an adrenal insufficiency, a condition characterised by the inadequate production of the steroid hormone, and a small hole in her heart. She requires 24/7 care from Jasmine due to her adrenal replacement medicine, and is monitored by a surgeon, endocrine nurse, cardiologist, dietician, physiotherapist, and occupational therapist.

Isla’s birth.

Isla has continued to prove her doctors wrong and she is now a thriving, happy two-year-old living at home with Troy and Jasmine who have raised over £5,000 for the hospital unit that saved her family from tragedy.

“Isla is the happiest, cheekiest, most loving little girl,” Jasmine said.

“We are incredibly proud and grateful to have her in our lives,” Troy said.

Jasmine’s pregnancy with Isla was a ‘breeze’, but she experienced ‘cramp-like feelings’ at 24 weeks gestation and was taken to the hospital.

“Everything was all healthy and normal,” Jasmine said.

“There were no issues showing on any scans and no health issues for me either.

Isla with her bottle.

“Most premature babies arrive early due to their own health issues or health issues with the Mum. But after me and Isla being tested, there was absolutely no reason why she came early.

“She just decided she was ready to meet the world.

“I sat on the toilet and saw blood everywhere. I screamed out for my partner, Troy and he called an ambulance.

“They took me to the delivery suite where we were told I was in labour and having contractions and there was nothing they could do other than monitor me over night to see if Isla would arrive naturally.

“The next morning I had to sign a form to authorise the caesarian surgery as Isla’s foot had breached and natural birth was no longer an option.

“They told us as Isla was so small it was 50/50 whether she’d survive birth. They also told us that as the placenta was directly where they needed to go in it was almost certain to rupture, leaving me with only a 50/50 chance of survival.

“So, Troy was basically told there was a 25 percent chance he was leaving the hospital without either of us.”

Troy was left “terrified” that he would have to watch Jasmine die alongside their daughter who they had wished “so long for”.

Isla playing with a teddy bear.

Thankfully, both Isla and Jasmine survived the birth, but the ordeal was not over for little Isla.

“Isla had a very rocky journey,” Jasmine said.

“She has surgery at three weeks old for a bowel and gullet perforation caused by her feeding tube going the wrong way when it was put down at birth.

“The talk with the family care team before the operation was terrifying. Everything sounded like our little baby wouldn’t make it. There was only an eight to ten per cent chance of survival.

“But here she is today, a living medical miracle as her surgeon calls her.

“We’re very proud of the progress she’s made considering the difficult start she had.”

Every year Jasmine and Troy try to raise money for the NICU that saves Isla’s life. In 2022, Troy took part in a charity white-collar boxing event, which he went on to win, raising £1,570.

“Boxing isn’t my thing, but I got so into the fight, and have never shouted as loud as I did that night supporting Troy,” Jasmine said.

“I’m so proud of him for working so hard and for raising the money he did.”

“I spent 12 weeks intensive training at Tower fitness for a fight consisting of three two-minute rounds,” Troy said.

“I told myself, ‘Isla won her fight, and now it’s my turn!’”

So far, the couple has raised £5,000 for the unit that saved their family from tragedy, which helps to fund toys, blankets, and clothes for the babies, as well as diaries for the parents.

“We are forever grateful for the incredible NICU doctors nurses and surgical team for all they did for Isla throughout her 140-day stay at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital,” they said.

“And to Mr Ram, his surgical team, and the nurses who acted so quickly on Isla’s operation day to help save her life and for giving us our miracle baby.

“We are also grateful to Jackson at Tower fitness for helping and pushing Troy on his 12-week training ready for the big night to raise money for the NICU unit, and for donating £660 to the NICU fundraiser.

“The support we’ve had from family and friends has been non-stop. We’ve had lots of support, love, strength and generous gifts which we are so grateful for and really helped us on our rocky journey.

“We as parents would say to other parents going through similar to hold on tight to one another, you’re all a team and on this journey together and need to be there for each other through it.

“It’s important that you never give up. Just never give up.”