Haris Mockbill was born so prematurely that doctors wrapped him in bubble wrap to keep him warm.
The British infant weighed just 1 pound 10 ounces, and his doctors were almost certain that he would not survive long outside the womb, Yahoo News UK reports.
“We were told we were going to lose him,” said his mother, Ellie Barr, 28. “He was really struggling to breathe, and his body was shutting down. We had a priest go into the hospital to baptize him because we thought it would have been our last day with him.”
But Haris fought through each challenge, and this summer, he celebrated his first birthday.
“He is a true inspiration and I am so proud of him,” Barr told the Daily Mail. “We had a massive party for him on his first birthday. He has beaten the odds and overcome everything that was thrown at him. He never gave up.”
Pregnancy complications led to Haris’s premature birth on July 9, 2018, according to the report. He was born after 24 weeks and 3 days of pregnancy, just three days after the legal abortion limit in England.
Because he was so premature, his lungs were severely underdeveloped and he was diagnosed with chronic lung disease, the report states. Two weeks after he was born, doctors warned Barr and Haris’s dad, Hassan Mockbill, 31, that their baby boy probably would not survive.
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Here’s more from the Daily Mail:
After being close to death on July 25, Haris miraculously came back from the brink after doctors administered a strong course of steroids aimed at clearing the fluid from his lungs.
The eight-day course of medicine saved Haris’ life, but a scan of his brain during his recovery discovered a grade 4 bleed on the brain.
Devastatingly for Ellie and Hassan, who also has third son, Kaysan, nine, this means Haris may grow up to develop a disability.
Though his parents are concerned about possible disabilities, they said they are thankful that Haris is alive.
Caring for him during his first few months of life was extremely difficult, they said. Even after they took him home last October, they said Haris required around-the-clock care. He remained on a ventilator until March, according to the report.
The family said Haris is doing well now; he recently took his first steps. They said they wanted to share their story to help raise awareness about the difficulties families face when a baby is born prematurely. World Prematurity Day is Nov. 17.
“We are a perfect little family now, and it was so worth all of the fighting,” Barr said. “We never gave up hope.”
Modern medical advances are enabling younger and smaller premature babies to survive and thrive. The smallest recorded surviving baby weighed less than 9 ounces at birth. Born in California in December 2018, baby Saybie was deemed well enough to go home in May. The earliest known premature baby to survive outside the womb was born at 21 weeks and four days of pregnancy. In 2017, the journal Pediatrics highlighted the girl’s survival story.