A YOUNG mother whose baby battled the odds after being born three months early has been left heartbroken after her partner died suddenly days after their daughter was finally discharged from hospital.
Lisa McKenzie came home to find her partner, 44-year-old Paul Houston, dead on the couple’s doorstep on July 19.
His death is unexplained.
Ms McKenzie’s cousin, Tiffany Milner, has set up an online appeal to raise £3000 towards funeral costs and to help the family in the wake of the tragedy.
The couple’s daughter, Sophie, was born on March 30, 12 and a half weeks premature and weighing just 1lb 5oz.
She was kept in an incubator at Ninewells Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit until June while her weight was built up.
Finally, the infant was allowed home with her parents last week.
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But joy turned to grief within days when her father her father died suddenly.
Soon after, Sophie had to be readmitted to Ninewells Hospital because a shunt – a device fitted to drain excess fluid from the brain – was blocked.
The youngster remains in hospital where she is due to have an MRI scan.
Ms Milner told the Dundee Courier: “Lisa and Paul had been back and forth to hospital for three months visiting Sophie and she was finally able to come home at the beginning of the month.
“But within a few days later Lisa came home to find Paul dead on the doorstep. They’re still not sure what happened.
“Then Sophie started being unwell and had to be taken to hospital because the shunt in her brain was not working.”
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Writing on the crowdfunding page, GoFundMe, Ms Milner said: “Despite the odds, Sophie fought all the battles thrown her way as did her Mum and Dad who courageously stayed by her side through all the ups and downs and she finally was well enough to come home just a week ago.
“Settling into family life, after being in hospital for three months is something they could have only dreamed of back in March when their tiny precious girl was born.
“This dream came true and so cruelly, was snatched away from them with Paul, Lisa’s biggest support, was taken away from them so suddenly.
“With a new baby, all the money they have spent on transport going to and from hospital over the last 3 months, food, equipment and specially made clothes to fit Sophie.
“A funeral to pay for just isn’t feasible right now.
“It would be amazing if we could all come together to show our support for Lisa and Sophie and try as best we can to raise as much as possible for the family. If we go over the target any left over money will go to Sophie for her future.”