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Mum Joelean Burns, from Faversham, gives birth to baby Marlee after doctors told her she would not have children following a stroke aged eight

Miracle baby Marlee Marie is the child that Joelean Burns was told by medics she would never have.

For 30 years ago, eight-year-old Joelean suffered a life-changing stroke minutes before Faversham Carnival was about to start.

Her life was only saved after a six-hour operation to bypass a blood clot on her brain.

Joe and baby Marlee
Joe and baby Marlee

Her brave and prolonged fight for recovery has now been rewarded by the joy of giving birth to little Marlee Marie.

She arrived the day after the 30th anniversary of Joelean’s stroke, and has been hailed a miracle baby by her family.

Joelean's mum Doffie Burns said: "Joelean came home with two pregnancy tests and I asked her who wanted them.

Joelean when she was eight years old
Joelean when she was eight years old

"She said me'. I was in total shock because we had been told she could never have children. Now she has got a gorgeous little girl."

Marlee Marie is a model of contentment and Joelean is coping brilliantly with motherhood despite the slight handicap of a paralysed right arm.

Joelean said: "I was excited when I found out I was pregnant and a bit nervous. But I'm over the moon and Marlee is so content."

Doffie said: "Everything has changed for the better for Joelean, she has got her own little place now and she's a wonderful mum."

"I was excited when I found out I was pregnant and a bit nervous. But I'm over the moon and Marlee is so content..." - Joelean Burns

It's a far cry from the drama of Joelean's dramatic illness.

The family was excitedly waiting for the carnival procession to start in Quay Lane when Joelean suddenly tilted to one side.

Doffie told her to stop being silly, but someone then warned her that Joelean seemed to be fitting and urged her to get her home.

Events took a nightmare turn and Joelean was rushed to Kent and Canterbury Hospital and later transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hospital where her life was saved by surgeons.

Over the following months and years she fought to regain her speech and mobility, and her bravery has won her many admirers in Faversham.

Joelean returned part-time to Davington Primary School because she continued to suffer fits, later transferring to Abbey School and then to a special unit at Canterbury College.

There, she learned sign language and worked with deaf people, volunteering with the Hi-Kent hearing charity.

She later became a lollipop lady at Davington and then a dinner lady at the school and was a youth worker for eight years at the former Faversham Youth Centre.

Now she is a full-time mum and loving every minute. Marlee’s father Tony Harris is a proud and doting dad.

Joelean, 38, of Goldfinch Close, said: "I don’t intend having any more children, this miracle has happened and that's enough."

Joe and baby Marlee with Joe's mum Doffie Burns
Joe and baby Marlee with Joe's mum Doffie Burns

Little Marlee popped into the world weighing five pounds and 13 ounces after a trouble-free pregnancy.

Joelean said: "I named her after Bob Marley because I love his music. She is such a good baby and she comes first in my life. Everyone says I have changed since I had her."

Although Joelean has never allowed her illness to stop her from achieving any goal, it had a major impact on her young life.

Joelean said: "I didn't go to the carnival this year, I can't go to the place where it happened."


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