It’s a happy first birthday to little Peyton Maguire, thought to have been Scotland’s youngest COVID patient when NHS Lanarkshire staff diagnosed her with the virus at just three weeks old.
The tot, who was born eight weeks premature, will turn one on 26 March and parents Tracy and AJ Maguire say she’s now thriving after the fantastic care she received in her early days at University Hospital Wishaw, home to Lanarkshire’s maternity services.
Peyton’s remarkable story of survival made headlines around the globe and her parents, from Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, joke that their daughter is now, appropriately, a “wee diva”, who loves to wave at folk.
“She’s full of energy and we’re delighted how good her health has been since she left hospital and how well she’s doing with her developmental milestones,” said Tracy (28), a digital marketing student.
“She’s started toddling about with the help of a walker and she said her first proper word the other day – ‘Daddy’, of course!
“She drives us daft by listening to the Baby Shark song all the time so she’s getting a Baby Shark toy for her birthday. One of my grans named her ‘the rainbow baby’ because of the joy she brought to us during lockdown and she’s given Peyton a lovely rainbow dress as a birthday gift.”
Peyton was delivered early by c-section after Tracy was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, a condition that affects pregnant women, following an appointment with her community midwife. The newborn was being cared for in an incubator in Wishaw’s neonatal unit when Tracy and AJ were told the alarming news that she’d tested positive for COVID, despite having none of the tell-tale symptoms of the condition.
Tracy, who isolated in the hospital to be close to her fragile daughter, said news of the tiny COVID patient appeared in the media across the UK and as far away as New York and Australia.
“We’ve been in so many papers, magazines and TV shows,” said Tracy, “but the most worthwhile thing her story has led us to do was taking part in the virtual Scottish Neonatal Nurses Group Annual Conference, where I shared my experience with NHS staff. I have so much respect for healthcare workers and I’m so grateful staff at Wishaw put their own lives at risk to care for my baby.
“My message to any mums-to-be is that they shouldn’t be worried about going into hospital to give birth because the staff know exactly what they need to do to protect everyone from the virus,” added Tracy, who is looking forward to taking part in another online healthcare event, talking to student midwives from Napier University in Edinburgh.
Proud dad AJ (29), a personal trainer and boxing coach, added: “I’m the luckiest dad and husband in the world to see my family so healthy and happy.”
NHS Lanarkshire chief midwife Cheryl Clark said: “Happy birthday to Peyton when it comes. We’re delighted to see she is doing so well and has come such a long way since she was a tiny, vulnerable baby in our incubator. That’s a tribute to the quality of care provided by all my colleagues who looked after Peyton and her mum.”