Born 16 weeks early, Oliver is preparing for first birthday

IT was a day his mother never thought she'd see. Tiny Oliver Woodhead was born 16 weeks early and spent his first few days fighting tirelessly for his life.

Hollie-Rae Merrick

IT was a day his mother never thought she'd see.

Tiny Oliver Woodhead was born 16 weeks early and spent his first few days fighting tirelessly for his life.

But today Oliver's mother, Hannah, is preparing for the first birthday party she never thought she would host.


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Twenty-year-old, Hannah, was rushed to a specialist hospital in Kent after she began to suffer from pre-eclampsia - a condition which causes high blood pressure and causes protein to leak from the kidneys into the urine.

Oliver weighed in at just 1lb 4oz, and Miss Woodhead, who lives in Great Wenham, feared the worse.

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She said: “I never thought we'd make it to this - it's amazing.

“I was so scared because it's so rare for a baby to survive at such a young age.

“It wasn't until someone from the intensive care unit came over and told me that he might not survive that I began thinking about it all.”

Born on December 9 2008, Oliver remained in hospital for over six months - with his mother by his side every step of the way.

He fought against the odds, suffering from septicaemia and a bilateral hernia.

In order to survive Oliver required a storma and the assistance of Hickman lines - which meant he spent time at hospitals across the county and was even rushed to Addenbrookes Hospital for urgent care.

Miss Woodhead added: “It's been a really tough year because he has needed to be in hospital for so long.

“It's so hard knowing that a baby can be aborted at that age - knowing that a baby can survive and that they do feel pain because Oliver felt pain.”

Oliver's remarkable story began in December 2008, when at 24 weeks pregnant, Hannah began to suffer from severe pains.

She was rushed to William Harvey Hospital in Ashfield, Kent, where she eventually gave birth.

Oliver now weighs 14lb 6oz and is fighting fit despite the odds that were stacked against him.

Due to chronic lungs, Oliver now suffers from asthma - but Miss Woodhead is proud of his development throughout the year.

The single-mother later said: “Oliver is such a lovely and happy baby.

“The whole experience has made me so much more grown up and I would definitely say that I now have a really different outlook on life.

“I'm excited to celebrate Oliver's first birthday and it will also be his first Christmas out of hospital - so it's all very exciting.”

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