Mir­a­cle of baby born at 23 weeks

Tot’s brain was vis­i­ble through her skin

Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY VIC­TO­RIA MUR­PHY and TOM KER­SHAW vic­to­ria.mur­phy@mir­ror.co.uk

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

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