Ronaldo backs campaign to save Portuguese premature baby

Lisbon: Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo has backed a campaign to save a Portuguese premature baby born in Dubai in October by publicising the campaign on his Facebook page.

"Let's support baby Margarida. No help is too small," Ronaldo said in the latest post on his Facebook page, which has over 101 million followers.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo. Pic/ AFP

The Portuguese star of Real Madrid then posted a link to the campaign page that is raising funds to treat Margarida Queiroz, who was born in Dubai at 25 weeks gestation weighing just 410 grams Oct 28, Xinhua reported.

The baby's parent's health insurance does not cover premature babies and the costs of her treatment since she was born are growing at a rate of around 5,000 euros per day, according to hospital bills posted on the campaign page.

In response to a post on his page by the baby's grandmother thanking him for publicizing her family's plight, Cristiano Ronaldo sent the family a message in Portuguese, "Any help could make the difference. I hope the whole family can stay strong."

Margarida's parents, Goncalo and Eugenia Queiroz, moved to Dubai a year ago. The unexpected events of their daughter's birth led them to plead for help on Facebook. Their campaign page went viral in Portugal and within a week the family raised over 100,000 euros for the baby's treatment.

"We have raised over 100,000 euros, mainly from Portugal," Eugenia Queiroz told Portuguese TV network TVI, "but it's not even close to being enough."

Baby Margarida was due to be born in February and, if she survives, the earliest she is likely to be released from hospital is around her due date meaning she will spend a minimum of four months in the neonatal unit.

The family is seeking to transfer Margarida to a Dubai public hospital where costs are lower than at the private hospital where she is currently staying, but currently no incubators are available.

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