Anna Maria and Julian Shelley are pictured at home with little Joseph whose heart rate dropped to a dangerously low level during labour. Photo: Julie McNicholls Vale

THE grateful parents of a baby boy who nearly died at birth have pledged to raise money for the hospital which saved his life.

The Cambrian News reported “Anna Maria and her husband Julian Shelley, who live in Prospect Street in Aberystwyth, almost lost their third child two weeks ago when his heart rate dropped dangerously low during labour.

In a dramatic and terrifying moment the couple will never forget, Dr Liliana Docan was forced to deliver little Joseph Joshua David Shelley “within minutes” by emergency caesarean.

Now Mr and Mrs Shelley want to thank her, midwife Julia Taylor and all the staff at Bronglais Hospital by raising money for its maternity ward.

Recalling the events of 21 May, former bookshop owner Julian said: “Everything appeared to be progressing well until our baby’s heart rate dropped suddenly to 60 beats per minute and a decision was taken to carry out a category 1 emergency caesarean.

“We remember asking the doctor, ‘Do you worry about the baby?’ and her reply was ‘We all worry about the baby’.

“We literally all ran pushing the hospital bed to the theatre where Anna Maria was given a general anaesthetic and within 14 minutes, from being on the ward to being anaesthetised, our baby was delivered. Apparently the operation only took one minute.”

Although Anna Maria had hoped to have a natural, drug-free labour as she had with the couple’s other children, Rosamaria, five, and Francis, three, she knew she had no choice but to have an emergency operation this time.

She said: “I was shocked when I was told I would have to have a C-section but when I thought we might lose our baby, it was the saddest moment of my life. So I was calm and I accepted, and I completely trusted Dr Liliana. It was the right decision, at the right time, with the right people.”

Joseph was born healthy at 6.10pm on Monday, 21 May, weighing 8lbs 9oz.

“We are so grateful to all the staff for everything they have done for us and now we want to give something back,” Anna Maria added.

To donate to Julian and Anna Maria’s JustGiving page, visit­/julianshelleyhere.

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