This baby weighed just over 1lb when he was born... now he’s about to start school.
WHEN Chase Thomas was born at only 30 weeks he was the size of a smart phone. Weighing 1.1lb, it was touch and go if he would survive. This was only 10 weeks after doctors had recommended a termination.
“It all started at the 20-week scan, when you normally get the sex of the baby,” said Chase’s dad Lee Thomas, 35.
“We went in and they told us that he wasn’t getting fed properly.
“The problem was with the umbilical cord, that is why he wasn’t growing as quickly as he should.
“It was then they recommended termination. They said that he probably would not make it and if he did he would be severely disabled.”
Despite these warnings, Lee and his fiancée Jolene could not give up on their son.
“We were given the choice,” said Lee. “We were both quite positive people.
“We had another child who was nine at the time and having a disabled younger brother would be tough but we didn’t give up on him.”
Jolene and Lee, who runs his own heating and plumbing business, did research online to look for ideas to give Chase a fighting chance.
He said: “We looked on the internet and there was advice there like laying on your side and having aspirin, which we did. It obviously worked because he survived!
“We had to have three scans a week for the rest of the pregnancy to check he was OK. Swansea and Cardiff have different equipment so we had to go to both of them.”
It was clear that Chase was going to have to come early and the pair resigned themselves to the fact he would be spending a lot of time in intensive care.
“He was born at 30 weeks,” said Lee. “They wanted to get him out at 26 weeks but we wanted to keep him in till 30 so he could develop more. When he came out they took him off us straight away to intensive care but we were prepared for that.
“He was in there for the first month and a half, making sure he could survive.
“He wasn’t breathing for himself, so a machine did it for him. There are three levels of ventilator. When they moved him from the high level one onto the medium one he didn’t take to it. They tried the basic one and he took to it straight away.”
After more than three months Jolene and Lee were able to take their son out of hospital.
Lee said: “After 99 days he was up to 4.1lb and we were able to take him home. We had to still give him oxygen.”
Lee now describes Chase as their “miracle” baby. Four years on he will be heading to school in September and has energy that would have been unimaginable when he was born.
Happily living at their Waunarlwydd home near Swansea, Lee said: “Now four years on, he is a normal four-year-old. He has had to have treatment and operations and has one big one still to come. He is so energetic and knows where every play area is at every hospital from here to England.
“Physically he is small but he has so much energy. Put it this way – we struggle with babysitters!”
The pair are so grateful for all the help they received that Lee is going to try and raise £2,000 to buy equipment for the neonatal ward that helped save
Chase Thomas weighed just 1.1lb when he was born at 30 weeks