A premature baby was smaller than a TV remote when he was born in lockdown at 23 weeks and given only a three per cent chance of survival.
Oliver-Cash Lowther-Ryan weighed just 1lb 3oz and was only 7ins long when he was delivered on the third day of the coronavirus shut down in March.
Now aged 12 weeks, he is winning his battle for life after an epic struggle that saw him being treated by medics at three different hospitals.
And his proud parents, Ethan and Frances, from Walderslade, Kent, have finally been allowed to hold him for the first time months after doctors told them that he likely wouldn’t survive.
Dubbed “Rocky” for his fight for survival, Oliver, who was born breach, has suffered two perforated bowel operations, had 11 blood transfusions, had two bleeds on the lungs, one bleed on the brain, three collapsed lung incidents and heart problems.
He is finally out of danger and his parents are breathing a huge sigh of relief.
His mother Frances, 24, had to wait nine weeks before she could hold her son for the very first time.
She said: “It was so, so difficult not being able to hold him but the moment I was allowed was the most incredible moment of my life. Words can’t describe it. It was just amazing to be able to touch and hold after so long.
“I’d looked forward to it for so long I didn’t know what to expect but it was the most amazing thing, just totally amazing. I’ve never experienced anything like it.
“The emotions I felt were so overwhelming. I felt like crying but I was also completely overjoyed.
“The second time I held him I was able to cuddle him skin to skin and the doctors were amazed by his response because he was so calm.
“It was such a positive experience for him and me and I felt like I was finally bonding properly with him.
Now when I go over to London to see him I can hold him each time and he loves it.
“Not being able to hold him for the first nine weeks was torture but now it is incredible.”
Ethan said: “Because only one of us was allowed into the hospital on each visit I had to wait until the following week.
“I bought a new shirt so that I could easily put him on my chest to do skin to skin and it was an emotional moment.
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