A miracle baby born nine weeks early has been allowed home just in time for Christmas – after spending nearly a YEAR in hospital.
Deborah Henley, 29, and Ben Loomes, 32, were told their son Jude may not live longer than four hours after being born prematurely on November 28 last year.
But he defied the odds after being resuscitated three times and has spent the past year breathing through a tube because of lung and airway problems.
The tot spent his first Christmas at Nottingham’s Children’s Hospital and was permanently admitted to critical care where he has remained every day since Easter.
But now the couple have been “given the best possible present” after medics said the one-year-old could finally leave hospital in time to enjoy his first Christmas at home.
Mum-of-three Deborah, from West Bridgford, Notts., said: “It’s just so nice to be able to give him a present at home.
”I think he will enjoy Christmas with his brothers.
“The team were all great and were always there to support us.
“I cannot thank them enough. We had lots of ups and downs in that time, but they were there every step of the way.
“When he was born we were just waiting – it’s the worst nightmare. It felt like days.
“They just said they would come and get us, they didn’t really tell us what was going on, just that they were trying to make him stable.
“It was horrible. It felt like it lasted forever.”
Jude was diagnosed with subglottic stenosis, a narrowing of the airways, as well as tracheomalacia and bronchomalacia, both weaknesses of the windpipe.
Over the following months he was in and out of hospital with repeated infections, and his family were unsure if he would survive each visit.
Deborah, who works as a carer, added “It was unbelievably stressful – we were constantly going backwards.
“Every positive bit of news ended up as a setback. Every little infection sets him back again.”
He was permanently admitted into critical care after an operation on his airways failed to work on the Easter weekend.
But after eight months of working with a dedicated long-term ventilation team, Jude was deemed stable enough to return home.
He went back two weeks ago, although he still needs 24-hour supervision from medics and family.
His parents and grandparents have been trained to supervise him during the night and medics from the hospital’s community team are on hand five nights a week.
Grandmother Penny Henley said: “It’s absolutely fantastic – it’s something you couldn’t put into words.
“It’s so good to have all the family back together. Just seeing his smile is fantastic. He’s a very happy young man.
“We didn’t have last year together so it’s the first one for us – we’re going to make sure this is a good one.”
Adele Frost, lead nurse for the Long Term Ventilation Team at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Jude has been able to go home and be with his family in time for Christmas.
“He has been a very poorly little boy at times but has fought through it all, and always with a cheeky smile on his face.
“Our team and the rest of the staff on the pediatric critical care unit will miss having him and his family around, but it’s always fantastic to see a child who has spent so long in hospital able to go home and start to regain some sort of normality in their lives.”