A baby boy from Sunderland who suffered a catalogue of health problems after being born at just 24 weeks has been dubbed “a miracle” after his parents were told to expect the worst when he arrived into the world.
Little Leo Taylor Corkin arrived into the world at just 23 weeks and five days last December, weighing a tiny 650 grams.
His loving parents Kirsty Taylor and Declan Corkin were told to expect the worst and he has since needed a number of operations as well suffering from a blood clot, which meant at one point he could lose some of his toes.
But the tiny fighter now weighs 6lb 4oz and is set to leave Sunderland Royal Hospital and come home for the first time within the next few weeks.
Problems first arose when mum-to-be Kirsty, 17, of East Herrington, began to feel unwell during the start of her pregnancy.
“I was being very sick and couldn’t eat anything,” she told the Echo.
“I got a water infection because I couldn’t keep the tablets down.
“Then at 17 weeks I contracted sepsis and the hospital said I could have been dead within two days if I hadn’t been seen too.
“I was put on medication and even given a blood transfusion.”
After getting back to full health, Kirsty and Declan, 22, were expecting a normal pregnancy ahead of the birth of their first child, but at 23 weeks Kirsty began to feel unwell again, leading to her giving birth.
“I realised I was unwell because I’d gone into labour and the hospital couldn’t do anything to stop Leo coming.”
Following a 15-hour labour, medics then gave the family the devastating news that there was a significant chance the tot may not live.
“They were saying that he might not survive and that we should prepare for the worst,” added Kirsty.
“I was up and walking about, desperate to see him and he was so tiny with a tube down his throat. It was so hard to see him like that.”
Leo was put on a ventilator for 90 days, during which time doctors had discovered he had a blood clot.
“When were told he had the blood clot the doctors said they were putting him on injections which they said could kill him,” said Kirsty.
“There was a blister on one of his toes one day, but then the next day all of his toes and part of his foot were black.
“We were told he could losesome of his toes, which was heartbreaking, but then just a few days later they were pink and back to normal.
“The staff said he was a miracle because that had never happened before.”
Brave Leo has also had to have two operations in his short life, one on a valve in his heart at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and another involving laser surgery on his eyes after doctors found that they were growing too quickly.Now however, Leo is improving almost every week and Kirsty and Declan are counting the days until he can leave hospital.
“His blood clot has gone and even though he still has chronic lung disease, we’ve been told that will start to go at he gets better,” said Kirsty.
“The only medication he will be on are the steroids to help him grow.”
There is also relief that after months of heartache, the family will be able to live a more normal life.
“We really didn’t think that we would get this far,” said Kirsty.
“We were just taking things day by day because it’s been so hard. With me only being 17, I wasn’t expecting this to happen at all.
“You see people putting on Facebook about how hard it is having a child crying, but they don’t realise how lucky there are to have their baby at home.”