JUST months ago she endured the ordeal of watching her pre-mature baby battle for survival, but tomorrow mum Sarah Hagan is set to celebrate her first Christmas at home with her “little fighter.”
And in a double family joy, she also told the Echo how she is looking forward to the birth of her second child.
Tiny Aaron Hagan-Perry was not expected to live after being born four months early, weighing just 1lbs 7oz.
While fighting for life on a ventilator, he also suffered an almost fatal infection and heart condition, which saw him given a police escort after leaving hospital in one of the worst lightning storms seen for years.
However, after eight months in the neo-natal unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital, Aaron is finally back home, enjoying the festive season with his family, and will soon be joined by a little brother.
Mum Sarah Hagan, who is seven-months pregnant, said: “It’s amazing how much our lives have changed. Just a few months ago, it was so different.
“Now Aaron is home and we’re having another baby.
“The pregnancy is going well, everything is great.
“We’re so happy.”
Earlier this year, Sarah and partner Darren Perry, 24, could only look on helplessly as doctors battled to save the life of their first child, born after 24 weeks when Sarah was admitted to hospital with health problems.
As the North East was hit by torrential rain and flash floods, Aaron was given a police escort over the lightning-hit Tyne Bridge after having heart surgery at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle.
But now, after suffering a further setback when he had to be put on a ventilator because of an infection, the “little fighter” is 32-weeks-old, a healthy 1st 9oz and settling in to his new home life.
“He’s our miracle,” said Sarah, 37. “He’s been through so much.”
Sarah and barman Darren, from Lakeside, Sunderland, are looking forward to a “normal, everyday family life” and the birth of their son, due at the end of March.
“Aaron is doing really well,” she said. “He still has to go to hospital for check-ups since he was allowed to leave at the end of October. He has one working kidney and chronic lung disease and has to be fed oxygen. However, the difference in him is unbelievable.
“His condition is improving all the time and he might be gradually weaned off the oxygen in the coming months.
“He’s being spoilt rotten by the family.
“They all love him so much and we’re looking forward to the birth of his little brother.”
Sarah also paid tribute to staff at the Wearside neo-natal unit where Aaron was treated, with a recent charity drive organised by family and friends raising £2,000 to help support their life-saving work.
“All of the hospital staff who helped us were fantastic,” she said. “We really can’t thank them enough. We’ll never forget what they have done for us.”