FROM battling life-threatening illness to braving lightning storms, premature baby Aaron Hagan-Perry has earned his nickname the “little fighter”.
Aaron was not expected to survive after he was born a staggering four months early, weighing just 1lbs 7oz.
While fighting for life on a ventilator, the youngster 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 almost two months in the neo-natal unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital, Aaron is finally on the road to recovery.
Mum Sarah Hagan, 36, said: “Nobody expected him to survive, but he’s proved us all wrong. He’s a miracle. We call him ‘our little fighter’.”
Sarah and partner Darren Perry, 23, a barman, from Farringdon, Sunderland, 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 two weeks ago, Aaron was given a police escort over the lightning-hit Tyne Bridge after undergoing heart surgery at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle.
“He’s been through so much,” said Sarah. “It was only because of the doctors who diagnosed the infection and the nurse at Sunderland Royal Hospital who spotted he was unwell, that he’s here today.
“Even when he went to the hospital in Newcastle, he only weighed 3lbs.
“He was only in surgery for about 45 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. He was so small. I don’t know how he pulled through.”
However, Sarah and Darren still face an agonising wait for their son’s return home, five months after his birth.
“We expect it will be at least three months before he is released from hospital,” said Sarah. “The other day was the first time we’d even discussed with the doctors a time for his return. He’s doing really well, but he needs to be 100 per cent before he can come home.
“We want to thank the doctors and nurses who treated him. They were amazing.”
The charity night has been organised in aid of the Wearside neo-natal unit where Aaron was treated.
The Lakeside Sports and Social Club, in North Moor Lane, Sunderland, will host the event at 7pm on Saturday, July 21. Tickets, priced £5, are on sale at the venue. Raffle prizes and donations for the fundraiser can also be left at the club.