LITTLE Theo Crann has come a long way in a short time.
In his three years he has undergone major surgery and battled back to health.
Now, his mum is finally saying a special thank you to those who helped support her son through some of his darkest days.
When Kayleigh Crann was 16-weeks pregnant, doctors picked up a problem with hormone levels during a routine scan.
Further tests revealed problems with her unborn child’s bowels, a condition known as gastroschisis.
“This basically means his bowels were outside of his body,” explains Kayleigh, of Southwick in Sunderland.
“When they first told me, I was very scared. I didn’t think he’d survive.”
But on November 14, 2010, four weeks premature, Theo arrived in the world weighing 5lbs 3oz.
Kayleigh said: “I remember, I was watching the David Haye/Audley Harrison fight on TV and my waters broke.
“I was so worried. It was late Saturday night and I was scared the hospital wouldn’t have a full staff on, or that they wouldn’t be able to cope with the baby’s problems.”
Following his birth, Theo was taken straight into special care.
“I didn’t even get to hold him. For three weeks I could only look at him from a distance.”
In the space of six weeks, Theo underwent three operations to correct his bowel problem, then spending another eight weeks in hospital before Kayleigh was finally given permission to take him home.
While undergoing treatment in the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) the 27-year-old mum was able to be close to her son by staying in The Sick Children’s Trust’s Crawford House, the charity’s “Home from Home” at the hospital.
Kayleigh said: “The staff in the house were so kind; we were in the house over Christmas which was really difficult, but they made it seem like home and even gave us a Christmas gift, which really cheered us up.”
As a thanks for the care she received, Kayleigh has now signed up for this year’s Great North Run.
Gail Stonley, house manager of Crawford House says “We are so grateful to her for thinking of us in her fund-raising. I’m also pleased to hear that Theo is now doing well.”
Theo, who attends Seaburn Dene nursery, has gone from strength to strength since his operations.
“He’s a big football fan and likes being outside,” added Kayleigh. “He also loves having stories read to him.”
l Anyone wanting to sponsor Kayleigh can visit her just giving page: www.justgiving.com/Kayleigh-Crann.