When Helen and Rhys Douglas’s son Austin was born at 22 weeks, docs weren’t sure if he would survive.
Few babies do survive being born so early – and Austin weighed just 1lb 4oz, and was so small, he'd fit inside in his mum’s palm.
"We were asked if we wanted any medical assistance for him, given how premature he was," Helen told news agency SWNS.
"I told doctors that, if he came out breathing, I wanted them to do everything they could – and they did."
And, amazingly, Austin – thought to be one of the UK’s most premature babies – pulled through.
Just past the halfway point in her pregnancy, Helen was rushed to Leicester General Hospital, after suffering heavy bleeding and extreme stomach pain.
She still had 18 weeks to go until her due date, but was told when she arrived at the hospital that she was giving birth – and there was nothing medics could do to stop it.
Describing just how premature Austin was, Helen said, "He was translucent and we could see his organs through his skin. His ears hadn’t fully developed and neither had his lungs."
"The medical staff whisked him away and put him in an incubator while they worked on him beside my bed.
"It was terrifying, but I knew he needed intervention."
Fortunately, tiny baby Austin was able to receive special care at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, before being transferred back to Leicester. He’s now growing well – despite still having a long way to go.
"I have to hold him with 2 hands now and he is bigger than my husband’s hand," Helen said.
Now, Helen and Rhys have shared these pics of their little one as a newborn, in order to show what a little fighter he is. They say he is a 'miracle baby' twice over – because Helen was once told she wouldn't ever be able to have children. ?
They’re hoping Austin will be home for his original due date: 28 July.
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