A COUPLE are spending a devoted vigil at their daughter's bedside in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
And they have nothing but praise for staff at the maternity unit - which is due to be reduced to a midwives-led service.
The couple say their daughter was born three months prematurely and may not have survived if the HRI had not had its present comprehensive maternity services.
Paul and Naomi Miller, from Crow Edge, say their daughter, Isla, may have not have made it to the Calderdale Royal Hospital, where the facilities are set to move.
Consultant-led maternity services will be based seven miles up the busy A629 at the Halifax hospital following Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt's ruling on October 6.
Naomi's contractions started late on the evening of Thursday, September 29. Paul drove to the Infirmary as fast as possible and within half an hour - during the small hours of the following morning - Isla was born.
Paul, a train driver and father-of- two, said: "There was no way we would have made it to Halifax.
"Isla had the last cot in the Royal Infirmary. Halifax was full and we would have had to go to Bradford, which would not have been possible.
"Isla was really poorly when she came out.
"It was touch and go. We were all praying for her.
"She came out back to front and if she'd been born in the car there would have been complications.
"She's not out of the woods yet, but at least she's here now.
"I'm positive that wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the HRI.
"Isla was born with an infection, a heart murmur and slight bleeding on the brain. Her lungs were so immature she had to go on a ventilator.
"She's still in intensive care, but she's made big steps.
"The Royal Infirmary staff have been absolutely golden. When they announced the closure I was upset.
"They have got 460 years of experience between them and it is going to be lost.
"Patricia Hewitt says the move is safe. That's rubbish. It's terrifying to think what could have happened."
And Paul added: "I want to draw awareness to what's going on."
Ms Hewitt's decision sparked outrage from 40,000 people who put their names to petitions against the move.