24 Jul 2013

NZ couple stranded in China with newborn

7:54 pm on 24 July 2013

The New Zealand father of a baby born three months premature during a stopover in China says he and his wife don't know how long it will take before they can bring their daughter home.

Aucklander Greg Hewgill says his wife Amy gave birth to Lily in Shanghai on 19 July while they were on their way back to New Zealand from a holiday in Europe.

He told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Wednesday that doctors haven't allowed them to be with the baby due to the risk of infection and they are waiting for permission to fly her home.

"It could be two days, it could be two weeks, it could be two months. And the trouble we have is, while she's in China we have extremely limited access to her. If she gets an infection, she could die and we might never see her again."

Mr Hewgill said they couldn't reach the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade until Tuesday, due to disruption caused by Sunday's 6.5-magnitude earthquake that hit Wellington.

However, he said they are now receiving assistance and have set up a webpage for donations towards medical and accommodation costs.