The 29-year-old mum who gave birth to a premature baby before suffering a heart attack is still fighting but brain damage has been confirmed.

Last month, the Herald covered the story of Kate Meldrum who was put on life support just two weeks after having her baby girl who weighed just over a block of butter - 530g.

Meldrum's sister Steph Everest said baby Ruby was on the mend, now weighing 1.14kg, but unfortunately the news wasn't as the family had hoped for Kate.

"An MRI scan showed that there was brain damage and they are working through that at the moment."

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On May 21, Meldrum was rushed to Auckland City Hospital's intensive care unit after having a heart attack while visiting her bub who was on a ventilator.

Joe Turner and Kate Meldrum with their newborn daughter Ruby Turner before the heart attack. Photo/ supplied
Joe Turner and Kate Meldrum with their newborn daughter Ruby Turner before the heart attack. Photo/ supplied

After doctors discovered Meldrum had a ruptured heart valve she underwent open heart surgery before being put on life support.

Everest said her sister was off life support, which was a positive, but there was still a lot of uncertainty and a lengthy recovery was expected.

"Cognitively she's there. She's able to answer yes or no questions and has even managed to visit Ruby a couple times but she will have to learn to walk again and talk properly."

Everest said she didn't know the specifics of the brain damage but her vision had been impacted due to the lack of oxygen and she has been working with a team of neurologists.

Kate Meldrum with her newborn daughter Ruby Turner before the heart attack. Photo/ supplied
Kate Meldrum with her newborn daughter Ruby Turner before the heart attack. Photo/ supplied

Meldrum's fiancé and father to Ruby, Joe Turner, has been Ruby's main carer while jumping back to his fiancée's bedside every chance he can get.

"He's an incredibly strong person and has just been taking it all one day at a time," Everest said.

She said no one expected her sister's current state and an internal review was looking into it.

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"The doctors have told us there has only been three other cases like Kate's around the world."

Baby Ruby, now 6 weeks old, remains on a ventilator in intensive care but her prognosis was looking up.

Premature bub Ruby on the mend resting in her father Joe Turner's lap. Photo/ supplied
Premature bub Ruby on the mend resting in her father Joe Turner's lap. Photo/ supplied

Everest said she was likely to remain in hospital for another eight weeks.

"Kate, however, could be there for months."

The family wanted to thank all the kind strangers who had reached out and donated to the Givealittle page.

More than $30,000 had been raised to support the family through this tough time.

The page will close next week on June 25.