People rally to help premature baby Lily
A Kiwi baby born three months early during transit in China has been donated more than $25,000 to help bring her home.
Lily Helen Hewgill arrived unexpectedly while her parents were travelling through Shanghai on Friday July 19 after 27 weeks gestation, weighing just 990 grams.
She is now being treated at Shanghai Children's Medical Centre, and living in an incubator.
Distressed parents Amy and Greg Hewgill were struggling to cope with the Chinese healthcare scheme and have been trying to return to New Zealand as soon as possible.
"In the Chinese health system, as parents we have high responsibilities but few rights," the couple wrote on a blog named Help Bring Lily Home.
"We cannot visit Lily except by extra special permission on a one-time basis (we have seen her once since birth). However we are responsible for buying and supplying anything she needs beyond what the government supplies."
The Hewgills want to evacuate Lily to New Zealand as soon as possible but need to raise $200,000 for the medical flight. Their travel insurance declined their claim, so they turned to the public for help.
"[Money] is the hardest thing for us to ask for. Anything and everything will help save her life."
By this morning, their fundraising page had reached $25,000.
The couple had also been offered help from those in China, and from officials in New Zealand who helped arrange paperwork.
"Offers of local support have been amazing. We now have a place to stay in Shanghai, we have many local contact numbers, and we have found medical interpreters," they wrote.
"Amy and I are reading all the notes that you send by email, add to the givealittle donation, or squeeze into those tiny bank transfer fields. Some of the most touching are the small ones with more heart than dollars."
The Hewgills said all of their paperwork was now in order and they just needed Lily to be cleared to fly.
"Neither we nor the doctors want to do anything that could endanger her life, but we are trying every avenue possible to find a way," they wrote.
More information is available here: http://helpbringlilyhome.blogspot.co.nz