Royston mum celebrates daughter's first birthday after air ambulance saved their lives

PUBLISHED: 16:36 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:46 12 June 2019

Royston's Emma Howard with daughters Rubie and Willow, whose first birthday raised more than £500 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance - the charity which saved her life. Picture: Courtesy of Emma Howard

Royston's Emma Howard with daughters Rubie and Willow, whose first birthday raised more than £500 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance - the charity which saved her life. Picture: Courtesy of Emma Howard

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A mum from Royston has celebrated her daughter's first birthday while raising money for the air ambulance service which saved both their lives.

Willow's first birthday raised more than £500 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Picture: Emma HowardWillow's first birthday raised more than £500 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Picture: Emma Howard

Last year, Emma Howard was 37 weeks pregnant when she felt "a really big gush" and began bleeding.

Speaking to the Crow earlier this year about the ordeal, she said: "The pain kicked in straight away, it was a bloodbath, with blood everywhere. It was like a murder scene.

"I was bleeding to death, but I was pleading and begging to go to hospital - I just wanted them to save my baby."

A year on, with baby Willow - formerly known as Jessie - turning one, Emma and fiancé Phil couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than to raise money for those who saved their lives.

Willow enjoying her first birthday cake alongside sister Gracie. Picture: Emma HowardWillow enjoying her first birthday cake alongside sister Gracie. Picture: Emma Howard

Rather than buying Willow a birthday present, they asked attendees if they could donate to the East Anglian Air Ambulance at the party, which was held on May 26 at St Mary's Church Hall in Royston.

"We had a great turnout and the local fire brigade came along to entertain the children - letting them go inside the engine, use the water pumps, try on helmets etc," she said.

"Family and friends all came along and together we have raised more than £500 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

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"We're over the moon that we're able to give something back and help towards saving someone's else's life."

To add to the fundraising total, a cake sale was held at First Friends Baby & Toddler Group - which raised £140.

Stating the reason for changing their baby's name, mum Emma added: "After Willow's traumatic birth, she was immediately taken to NICU as she was so poorly - and we felt it important to name her straight away.

"As the months passed, Willow blossomed into an amazing little girl and, on reflection, we felt we rushed into naming her due to her initial fight for life.

Willow on her special day. Picture: Emma HowardWillow on her special day. Picture: Emma Howard

"We felt renaming her is like the start of a new chapter in her life, celebrating how wonderful she is."

They chose the name Willow as it symbolises life, growth and harmony, as well as strength and stability.

"We feel her new name honours her perfectly," said Emma.

"We are so proud of how amazingly well she has done - she really is our little miracle!"

To find out more about the East Anglian Air Ambulance, including how to donate, visit eaaa.org.uk.

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