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‘Pocket Rocket’ Bridget to begin school after tough start in life

January 22, 2024 9:49 am in by
Spring Mountain's Jonty, Bridget and Cooper de Beer. Picture: Renae Droop/RDW Photography

An Ipswich girl has gone from being a ‘premmie baby’ to a ‘prep student’ as the 2024 school year kicks off today.

Bridget de Beer from Spring Mountain will be among 43,000 Queensland students beginning their first day of school.

The little ‘pocket rocket’ was born 14 weeks early and weighed less than 1kg when she was born via emergency caesarean section at Mater Mothers’ Hospital in South Brisbane in 2018.

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Bridget spent two months receiving around-the-clock lifesaving care in the hospital’s Neonatal Critical Care Unit.

She will be attending Springfield Lakes State School with her eight-year-old twin brothers, Jonty and Cooper, (pictured above) who were also born two months early.

Photo: Miracle baby Bridget was born at Mater Mother’s Hospital in 2018.

Parents Jacalyn and Divan de Beer said it will be an emotional day for the whole family.

“Bridget can’t wait to start school,” said Mrs de Beer, who also teaches at the school.

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“She is shy at first, but once she feels comfortable she is a bubbly, friendly and energetic little girl with lots to say!”

Mrs de Beer said she was proud of Bridget’s fight for survival after she was born at just 26 weeks into her pregnancy due to preterm labour.

Born with a hole in her heart which self-corrected, Mrs de Beer described Bridget as a “determined little fighter who never give up”.

“Bridget is now five years old, weighed 920 grams at birth, and is now 22kg,” Mrs de Beer said.

“She’s actually quite tall and has a great attitude towards starting school.

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“When we went to buy her uniform, she ended up wearing it for half the day. It’s going to be a big, exciting milestone starting her learning journey!

“I will have my game face on. I know I will get emotional when I tuck her into bed the night before,” she said.

Each year nearly 2,000 very sick and premature babies receive round-the-clock specialist care from the multidisciplinary team in Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Critical Care Unit.

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