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Newborn Mary-Kate is a fundraising star.

Byline: By MARTIN SMITH martin_1_smith@mrn.co.uk

TINY Mary-Kate Flannelly is raising money to help premature babies in Coventry - three weeks before she was even due to be born.

The seven-week-old premature baby will be the star attraction at a fundraiser for Coventry's Walsgrave Hospital tomorrow.

Proud mum Liz Flannelly has organised the fundraising event as a thankyou to the hospital's special baby care unit.

Blue-eyed and dark-haired Mary-Kate unexpectedly arrived on September 27 this year - 10 weeks early and weighing only 3lb 11oz.

After a seven-week stay in hospital, the little girl was finally allowed home last weekend on Saturday, weighing a healthy 5lb 15oz.

Liz, aged 39, a mum-of-two, said: "The fact that I had had the baby so early was a real shock to the system.

"It was amazing when I saw her. Everything was so tiny and everything was so perfect.

"It was a roller-coaster ride. Every day seemed to be different - you get some real ups and downs.

"But Mary-Kate is a little fighter and she's really headstrong already."

Liz has organised the party to celebrate her own 40th birthday as well as Mary-Kate's homecoming.

The fundraiser will take place at Flannelly's Club, in Holyhead Road, city centre, where Liz lives and is the landlady.

Proceeds from the evening - which will include a raffle and a collection - will go towards Walsgrave Hospital's special baby care unit, which has looked after Mary-Kate for the past month and a half.

Liz, who also has a five-year-old son Sean, added: "The staff there were fantastic from start to finish.

"Every single one of them is so dedicated to their jobs.

"You have to go home every night but you know that your child is in good hands with them and you are reassured by that.

"This is our way of saying a big thankyou to all of them," Liz added.

The evening will start at 8pm. Entry is free.

CAPTION(S):

D23154_1. LITTLE FIGHTER: Mary-Kate will be the star attraction at mother Liz Flannelly's fundraiser. Picture: JAMES BALFOUR
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 18, 2004
Words:344
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