Article from: The Sunday Times
October 13, 2007 05:00pm
Test cricket star Mike Hussey has told how he feared losing both his wife and premature daughter earlier this year.
Hussey spent yesterday bonding with five-month-old Molly, who is doing well after being born at 28 weeks and spending her first nine weeks in hospital.
Hussey, 32, of Subiaco, described his three-week “world of darkness” immediately after helping the Aussies win the World Cup in the West Indies in May.
Just two days after his triumphant return, his wife Amy was taken to hospital when her pregnancy hit serious complications at the 25-week mark.
While Mrs Hussey spent three weeks in hospital before giving birth to Molly, Australia’s middle-order batting star played superdad, visiting her every day while looking after Jasmin, 3, and William, 18 months, at home by himself.
Molly Mae was born on May 19 and weighed 1080g, but then lost weight. A healthy full-term baby generally weighs about 3.5kg.
Hussey said Molly’s battle had given him a new perspective on life.
“It makes you realise it can all change just like that, so you should really appreciate every day that you get to play cricket for Australia and just go out and enjoy it,” he said.
“As hard as I had to work just to get a game, and how much I appreciate playing for Australia, you would definitely give it all back to make sure everyone’s all healthy and happy in your family.”
Molly was one of 138 babies born in WA last year at 28 weeks’ gestation or less.
“It was pretty serious there for a while,” Hussey said. “It was a huge shock. I forgot about the World Cup win very quickly.
“Amy was in hospital trying to hang on for as long as she could and I was looking after the other two.
“I’d get to 7.30pm, have them both in bed, then I would just die on the couch. I was exhausted.”
Having already been through so much in the weeks before the birth, and despite being shocked at her appearance, Hussey said he was convinced she would make it.
“She was just tiny,” he said. “Her head was about the size of a tennis ball and she didn’t have any body fat — her arms and her legs looked like pencils.
“She was almost see-through, her skin was quite transparent, you could see all her veins and almost through to her bones.
“But everything inside was doing well, and that was the main thing.”
Hussey said he had thought about the possibility of both his wife and child dying.
“Thankfully it didn’t work out that way and the family’s intact,” he said.
Hussey said his teammates had provided great support.
“The Gilchrists are pretty close by, so they tried to help out wherever they could,” he said.
“The guys on the eastern seaboard couldn’t do a hell of a lot, but they certainly lent their support with messages and phone calls.”
Mrs Hussey said her husband had been amazing throughout their ordeal. “Emotionally, mentally, and physically with the kids, I couldn’t have done it without him,” she said.
And she said staff at King Edward Memorial Hospital had been fantastic.
“They put a big sticker on our humidicrib saying, `Hip, hip hooray, Molly’s one kilo today’, and when you go in and see that it just makes your day,” she said.