Premature baby born 15 weeks early and weighing just 1lb 6oz is home in time for Christmas
A family are celebrating bringing their premature baby home for Christmas after he was born 15 weeks early, weighing just 1lb 6oz.
Lucas Simpson was born at just 24 weeks, four months before his October 9 due date, and just weeks after his mother found out she was pregnant.
After his incredibly early arrival and despite needing seven blood transfusions, battling a hole in his heart, chronic lung disease and sepsis, after spending 127 days in hospital Lucas defied the odds to be allowed home.
Now five-months-old and weighing 12lb 9oz, his parents are looking forward to their first Christmas as a family of four.
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Mum Laura Mount, 29, from Skipton, only found out she was expecting a few weeks before Lucas was born.
“I was in the bath and saw my tummy move," she explains.
“I had irregular periods but no symptoms at all. It was a real shock, but even finding out at 21 weeks pregnant, I thought we had time to prepare.
“At my first scan we found out it was a boy, we just never imagined meeting him so soon after.”
But just a few weeks later Mount started experiencing pains, so went to hospital.
“I was 4cm dilated and they pumped me with steroids," she says.
"At midnight we had to be blue lighted 40 minutes away as my local hospital didn’t have the equipment for babies born under 32 weeks."
“They gave me difficult information before I delivered, gently explaining the survival complications he might face.
"I had to be prepared for what might happen, because of how early it was."
Read more: Mum delivers 'pumpkin baby' weighing a huge 14lb 15oz
Lucas was born 100 days premature and was immediately put on a ventilator on June 24.
"I held him for only 30 seconds as he needed to go to intensive care," Mount says.
“His skin was so fragile and see through, we could see his veins.
“It’s a miracle how far he has come.”
Watch: Premature baby born 15 weeks early, weighing less than 1lb, kept safe and warm in bubble wrap
But Lucas has battled hard to be strong enough to come home.
“When he was born, a valve in his heart didn’t close properly and he had a heart murmur," the mum-of-two explains.
“We waited to see what happened and it closed at 10 weeks old.
“He also had sepsis, seven blood transfusions and came home on oxygen as his lungs haven’t developed enough.
"He was on a ventilator for seven weeks and had laser eye surgery.”
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Lucas began life in intensive care until he was 52 days old when he was moved to the high dependency ward.
“When he weighed 2kg, we could put him in a cot and once he could maintain his temperature, we were able to dress him,” Mount says.
“After everything he has been through, I wonder how he survived, but he is a fighter.
“I was always worried he wouldn’t make it but he got stronger every day.”
Mount and her partner Allan, 40, spent three months making the 40-mile round trip to Bradford where Lucas was in hospital, before he was strong enough to be moved to their local hospital and then to come home to his family on 25 October.
“Everyone was desperate to meet him, as only Allan and I were allowed at the hospital," Mount, who works in a building society, explains.
“He was four months old before we got to introduce him to family. We have been very careful. His health is our priority, so we have limited visitors to just our closest family."
But the most touching meeting was when Lucas was introduced to big brother Isaac, who will be two in January.
“We had showed Isaac photos and videos and he would kiss my phone but it’s hard to explain at his age," Mount says.
“The day they met was really precious. Isaac loves his little brother, I know they will have a great bond."
Now the family are looking forward to celebrating their first Christmas as a family of four.
“It’s been a really difficult and overwhelming few months," Mount says.
“I am just so happy to have Lucas home, for our family to finally be all together, especially as it's just in time for Christmas.
“I dreamt about him coming home but I was so nervous.
“I didn’t sleep for a week checking his oxygen, but Lucas is our super-baby.
“He has slotted into our family and completed us. Having him home is the best present I could have wished for.”
Additional reporting Caters.