Walk for Prems close to mum's heart

SARAH Coker doesn't like remembering the day her daughter was born.

Sarah Coker and her daughter Emily Linnett, 2, both of Ravenswood, are preparing for Launceston's fourth Walk for Prems on October 26. Picture: MARK JESSER.

Sarah Coker and her daughter Emily Linnett, 2, both of Ravenswood, are preparing for Launceston's fourth Walk for Prems on October 26. Picture: MARK JESSER.

She was 26 weeks pregnant and her daughter had stopped growing three weeks earlier.

"I got called in for an extra scan and then had to see a doctor afterwards," Ms Coker, of Ravenswood, said.

"I was told that we'd be going to Hobart, so we drove down the next day and Emily was born two days later."

Emily weighed 570 grams and stretched out she was 30 centimetres.

"It was very scary," Ms Coker said.

"You go to a mum's group and they talk about what it was like when their baby was born and what delivery and everything was like, but that's an experience we (mums of premmies) don't really want to relive every day.

"Before I had Emily, I thought if you had a premmie, you'd done something wrong, but it's not like that."

More than 45,000 infants are admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Special Care Nursery ward across Australia each year.

On October 26, Walk for Prems will be held in Launceston to raise awareness and funds to support families of premature and sick babies.

It is the fourth time the event has been held in Tasmania and similar events will take place across the country.

Ms Coker said this would be the first year she and Emily would walk the event together, after co-organising it last year

"And this year Emily's big enough to actually get a t-shirt," Ms Coker said.

Ms Coker said Emily, who is now two, was doing well.

"She's very small for her size and we have a lot of specialists," Ms Coker said.

"She's got chronic lung disease, so any infection goes to her lungs, but we've been lucky this year.

"I think I stress more than other parents, there's always those what ifs.

"They get that sneeze or cough and that's it, you don't sleep, the thermometer is out every four hours."

Registrations for Walk for Prems are open online.

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