British couple in Singapore looking to crowdfund S$250,000 to return home with premature baby

British couple in Singapore looking to crowdfund S$250,000 to return home with premature baby
Ms Chloe Wilkinson and her partner, Mr Patraic Walsh-Kavanagh, had been in Singapore for a two-day layover on their way home from Australia when she went into labour on Feb 19, 2019.
PHOTO: Facebook/Patraic Walsh-Kavanagh

SINGAPORE - A British couple are looking to raise more than £140,000 (S$250,000) to take their baby, who was born prematurely in Singapore, home to the UK.

Ms Chloe Wilkinson and her partner, Mr Patraic Walsh-Kavanagh, had been in Singapore for a two-day layover on their way home from Australia when she went into labour on Feb 19, BBC reported.

The 30-year-old was 24 weeks pregnant when she was rushed to the hospital.

Their baby Lorcan was born on Feb 26, weighing just 0.86kg.

According to the BBC, the couple have been told that they have to stay in Singapore for another three months before the child, who is currently in intensive care, is well enough to travel.

The couple were handed a £140,000 medical bill, which is not covered by the travel insurance that they took out before setting off on their trip to Asia in December 2017.

They told British media that their travel insurance does not cover pregnancy.

As a result, they are trying to raise money through a GoFundMe campaign, with a target of £142,000. As of Wednesday (March 13), they have raised more than £48,000.

The couple had been working in Victoria, Australia after travelling around Asia, BBC reported.

They had been on their way home to the UK to surprise their parents with the news of Ms Wilkinson's pregnancy when she was rushed to the hospital in Singapore.

She had been experiencing bleeding and cramps, British newspaper The Mirror reported.

Mr Walsh-Kavanagh, 27, told the BBC that Ms Wilkinson was found to have an infection after undergoing numerous tests in the hospital.

She was given antibiotics and medication to reduce contractions and prolong labour, to give their baby the best chance of survival, he said.

Ms Wilkinson told the British broadcaster: "Lorcan's been fighting with all his might and we are bursting with pride at the strength he is showing so far.

"However, we are on our own, a 14-hour flight away from our family and friends, and it has been a very difficult start to parenthood whilst Lorcan remains in hospital," she added.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Ms Wilkinson thanked netizens for their support, and said: "Baby Lorcan is now two weeks old and continuing to show great strength. All the beautiful messages and well wishes are keeping us positive in order to help him to grow."

The Straits Times has contacted the couple for more information.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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