Miracle of baby born at 23 weeks
Tot’s brain was visible through her skin
A BABY born so prematurely her brain was showing through her skin has celebrated her first birthday.
Hailie Dillon arrived at 23 weeks and six days and has defied the odds as infants born before 24 weeks are less likely to live.
Weighing only 1lbs 2oz, Hailie clung to life when she came into the world on February 23 last year at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, Teesside.
Her mum Cheri Price had begun contractions while only 20 weeks pregnant.
She feared her local hospital on the Isle of Wight would not have the specialist facilities to care for her child. And so Cheri and boyfriend Timothy Dillon, 32, decided to travel 320 miles to Darlington to be close to Timothy’s brother who could care for their 11-month-old son Jack while they visited Hailie in hospital.
Cheri, 22, said of Hailie’s first moments: “She looked like a red alien. She was still in the foetus stage and didn’t look like a baby at all.
“She was put in an incubator but we couldn’t touch her and could see all the veins of her brain.” It was 18 days before Cheri could hold Hailie. She and Timothy spent three months at the hospital as their baby fought for her life. There were also fears Hailie could be left blind with because of an underdeveloped retina but her sight was saved. Cheri, who has another son Liam, seven, said of Hailie, who was finally allowed home in June: “I’m so proud of her, what she’s been through has been horrendous. We thought we would lose her at so many points.”
ONE-DERFUL Tot at 12 months
SMILES Hailie & parents