A baby who weighed a tiny 1lb 9oz after being born at just 24 weeks and three days is finally home.
River Willis arrived on July 27 last year via emergency C-section after his mother Cara Willis’ placenta came away from the wall of her womb – putting both their lives at risk.
The newborn gradually grew stronger, until he was struck by sepsis at three weeks old, which left his face so swollen Mrs Willis, 24, did not recognise her own son.
Doctors even warned they would have to withdraw treatment if he failed to improve.
After pulling through, River spent three-and-a-half months at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, before being transferred to Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil – far closer to the family’s home in Tredegar.
It was not until he was five months old that the youngster was finally able to go home, with him still requiring oxygen ahead of open-heart surgery in October.
Doctors were forced to carry out an emergency C-section four months ahead of River’s due date when Mrs Willis endured a placenta abruption.
This caused such severe bleeding it ‘turned the hospital bed red’, she claims.