A mum who was tested for cancer after spotting a number of unusual symptoms was astonished to learn she is pregnant.
Now she is desperately appealing for help after she gave birth three months early while on holiday in Turkey.
Emma Baxter first started feeling unwell and doctors were concerned she might have cancer – sending her for biopsies to determine the cause.
But tests revealed she was actually in the second stage of pregnancy, which came as a “massive shock” to the mum-of-three who is fast approaching her 40th birthday.
Emma was scheduled to travel to Turkey for a family holiday around a month after she found out she was expecting.
Now she is desperately appealing for help after she gave birth three months early while on holiday in the country.
The 39-year-old checked she was safe to do so with the midwife and was given permission to fly.
She said: “We only found out we were pregnant three or four weeks before we came away.
“I was initially undergoing biopsies for cancer but then found out I was five months pregnant. It was a massive shock as I’m nearly 40.
“We checked with our midwife and were given the all clear to fly and enjoy ourselves.”
But just three days into her 10-day getaway with partner Daniel Metcalf and their two daughters Milly, 10, and Lilly, six, Emma woke up with stomach pains and went into premature labour.
She said: “Danny also felt unwell so went to the pharmacy to get something to help but by the time he came back my waters had broken.”
Medics rushed Emma to a local hospital and within 15 minutes of arriving on June 30 she had given birth to a baby boy, who she named Jack.
Little Jack, who weighed just over 1kg and was 30cm long, had to have his heart restarted and was intubated to help him breathe.
He was taken straight to intensive care while McDonalds worker Emma was rushed into theatre for emergency surgery after haemorrhaging and struggling to deliver the placenta.
She added: “We were only allowed to see him for two minutes which has been really traumatic.
“Jack was then transferred to a specialist paediatric intensive care hospital in Antalya an hour away from our hotel.”
The couple, who have been together 12 years, were allowed to visit Jack in hospital for the first time on Tuesday.
But they’ve been told their new arrival will need to remain in hospital for up to four months – with his care costing £1,000 per day.
This could mean they could face medical bills of tens of thousands of pounds to get him home.
Emma, from Norwich wasn’t due to give birth until September 24.
She said: “It hasn’t sunk in yet what we’re actually going through.
“We’re both absolutely exhausted and just want to be able to hold our son.
“When we’ve called the hospital for updates, all they’re interested in is when we are going to make a payment.
“My girls have been in tears. Danny and I are trying to be strong and keep things going together until they are in bed.
“At one point, Danny thought he had lost me and Jack. He’s at breaking point.”
The family-of-five had booked their first holiday for five years as a package deal and assumed it came with travel insurance.
However, after racking up a medical bill of 7,000 following Emma’s hospital stay, they discovered insurance wasn’t included.
Emma said: “It’s what we have always done so we thought we were covered.”
Family, friends and colleagues back at home have stepped up to help the couple cover the mum and baby’s medical care and setting up a GoFundMe page to raise cash.
Emma’s boss at Norwich Airport McDonalds, Kevin Foley, is trying to arrange a £42,000 flight to get Jack back home.
The mum-of-three added: “The support of our family as well as my boss, Kevin Foley, has been such a huge help.
“Danny and I cried when Kevin offered to help us straightaway. It’s been a massive relief and has taken some of the pressure off us.
Kevin, who own 10 branches of McDonald’s across Norfolk, said: “As soon as I heard of Emma’s plight in Turkey, I stepped in to offer as much support as I could from the UK.
“I’m in constant contact with both Emma and Danny and am trying to arrange a £42,000 flight with a medical team with Capital Air Ambulance to get Jack back home to continue his treatment at a local specialist hospital.”
Self-employed window cleaner Danny and the couple’s daughters were expected to return home on Thursday but have decided to remain at their hotel in Turkey while Emma recovers and they await news on Jack.