Born ten weeks prematurely and weighing just 2lb, adorable baby Theo Dawes has already had his fair share of health struggles.
But now, at eight weeks old, the little fighter has finally returned home in time for Christmas to the delight of parents Martin Dawes and Vicky Curry.
The last seven weeks have been a whirlwind for the family, who have anxiously watched over their baby as he was looked after by staff at Sunderland Royal’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
While at the unit the brave youngster was kept in a special incubator and received respiratory care as a result of his lungs being premature and weak.
But now safely back home and doing well, the couple have launched a bid to raise over £20,000 to buy a new incubator and equipment for the ward which cared for their son.
Grateful mum Vicky, 38, said: “Theo was originally due on December 21, but was born prematurely on October 13 as a result of complications during pregnancy.
“In total Theo spent over seven weeks at the hospital where he required a blood transfusion because of his low level of red blood cells. “This has helped him significantly, but he still requires oxygen and is fed breast milk and fortifier through a small tube mostly.
“We are very grateful to the amazing staff of doctors and nurses for the care they have given to our son and the support they have given to both of us.
“Without them and the equipment they use there is a very strong possibility our little boy would not be here today.”
As well as the new incubator, the couple hope to raise enough funds to buy equipment such as heart rate and respiratory monitor and a transfusion machine which administers milk feed and antibiotics to sick babies.
Dad Martin, a 42-year-old web designer and singer, added: “All the staff at the Neonatal Unit of Sunderland Royal have been amazing, so the fundraising is to say a big thank you to them.
“We have set up a Just Giving Page for donations and we are also planning on holding an event in February at The Alexandra Hotel in Sunderland and one in March at the Top Club in Washington to raise further funds, but further details are to be confirmed.”
To donate, please visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/victoria-curry?utm_id=92&utm_term=qEXXnPDnB