April Jackson looks as carefree as any other toddler in the arms of her mum.
But just over a year ago she was fighting three deadly infections after being born 10 weeks early.
April’s mum Bernadette McGhee-Jackson developed e-coli in the womb and blood poisoning two days after her waters broke.
The 25-year-old’s organs began to shut down and the deadly bugs were passed on to April, whose heart rate fell so low in it failed to register on the monitor.
She was born weighing just 3lb and 24 hours later, doctors at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital confirmed April also had meningitis.
But after a remarkable recovery, April has celebrated the first birthday Bernadette and husband Sean Jackson, 28, feared they would never see.
Bernadette, from Glasgow, said: “When she was born, we never thought that far in advance. We just got through one day and then the next.
"We were worried about losing her, even just holding her. It was scary. But now she’s the perfect baby – and she loves her big brother so much.”
Hospital clerk Bernadette first felt contractions at 27 weeks but was sent home from hospital when they stopped.
In the fortnight that followed she had two similar false alarms.
At 30 weeks her waters broke and she was back in hospital for two days when the ordeal began.
Bernadette said: “It all happened so suddenly. My waters broke and infection set in. My whole body was aching and I was shaking violently because the sepsis had set in and the e-coli.
“April’s heart rate was dropping, my organs were shutting down and they said, ‘We need to get baby out now’.
“It was absolutely terrifying.”
Surgeons had to perform an emergency caesarean under general anaesthetic to save mum and baby.
April was delivered on August 20 and doctors told Bernadette that her battling baby gave a “great scream”. Bernadette said: “I wasn’t awake for the birth and I didn’t know I was having a girl – my husband got to see her first – so it was such a nice surprise to wake up to after that delivery.”
It would be two days before Bernadette was finally allowed to hold her daughter.
The tot spent that time on a ventilator and was given antibiotics and light therapy for jaundice before doctors had to treat her for meningitis too.
Despite being so ill and premature, April was breathing on her own after just two weeks.
A fortnight later she was allowed home with her parents and brother Caleb, seven, who was also born 10 weeks early, with a bleed to his brain. Like his little sister, he is now a picture of health.
“I’ve got two wee miracles,” said Bernadette. “Thankfully, they’re both all better and have no health complications.”
April was named after the month of her late grandfather Jim McGhee’s birthday. He died of bowel cancer a few months before she was born.
Bernadette praised staff at the hospital.
“Without them, she wouldn’t be here today,” she said. “They caught it quickly and saved her life. Now she is the perfect baby.”