Gallery: Amazing Alfie Winlow-Cook, born 17 weeks prematurely, is still overcoming the odds as he celebrates fifth birthday
PUBLISHED: 16:06 24 April 2014
Looking at him now you would never have thought that little Alfie Winlow-Cook was once desperately fighting for his life.
Born prematurely after only 23 weeks and weighing just 1lb 3oz, doctors at Ipswich Hospital feared he might not survive.
But now the happy and energetic five-year-old is going from strength to strength – excelling at school and enjoying playing on his bike or scooter.
Proud mum Emily Winlow, who lives with Alfie, his sister Lacey-Mae and partner Olly Last in Birkfield Drive, Ipswich, said: “He’s full of surprises.
“The doctors did say to me they didn’t know if he would be able to walk or speak or hear.
“But he’s absolutely brilliant now and every time he goes to an appointment they tell me they’re amazed at him.
“He has hearing aids but it doesn’t hold him back at all. He’s so full of life, such a cheeky little boy.
“When he does get poorly he’s still susceptible to getting quite ill but hopefully the older he gets the better his lungs will be.
“We hope we’re out of the woods now.
“He’s come on leaps and bounds and never ceases to amaze people.”
Miss Winlow, 22, said she was told that Alfie was Ipswich Hospital’s youngest baby to be born and survive.
And as her son grows older he will be able to turn to a family friend who has been in the same situation for help and advice.
Megan Everett, now 17, was also born prematurely at 24 weeks, weighing 1lb 6oz. Both her and Alfie’s grandfathers are friends.
“I was in hospital for 105 days after I was born and had to keep going in,” Megan said.
“At two weeks old I got meningitis and at one point I went down to 1.5lbs.”
Like Alfie, Megan is partially deaf and said she hoped to be able to help Alfie in the future by giving him the benefit of her experiences growing up.
She said: “My grandfather passed on the newspaper article about me (to Miss Winlow) and I showed them that things do work out. It’s great to see how he’s getting on.”