The father of a “miracle baby” boy who survived being born four months premature and fought off sepsis, septicemia, and bone disease said that despite his fears, he wouldn’t change his experience for the world.
With his son now thriving at home, Ryan Harrison is so grateful to the British hospital that nurtured the infant when he was born weighing just under two pounds, that he is fundraising for new equipment for its NICU ward—with his fists.
Ollie Harrison was born October 30, four months earlier than his February 5 due date, at just 26 weeks and weighing 1 pound 15 ounces, reported Hull Live. Hospital staff at Hull Royal Infirmary warned his parents that Ollie might not ever make it home.
“For the first four to six weeks there was a risk that Ollie wouldn’t make it,” Harrison told HullLive. “If he picked up an infection there was a chance that he wouldn’t be able to fight it off.
“It was a hard time for us and we both stayed by his side.”
Now Harrison is heading to the ring for a charity fundraising boxing match to raise money for new equipment for the NICU ward at Hull Royal Infirmary that helped save his son’s life.
“Without all of the amazing staff on this ward I wouldnt have this beautuful little boy and i really want to give something back to the ward,” Harrison wrote on the fundraising campaign page Just Giving. “Going through this experience has really opened my eyes and we really want to give back!”
The new dad has already raised over 2,000 euros (approximately $2,500) in the online fundraiser.
He also explained on the page that the hospital staff had nursed his son through numerous conditions including sepsis, septicemia, respiratory distress syndrome, chronic lung disease, metabolic bone disease (Osteopenia), and retinopathy of prematurity, and patent ductus arteriosus.
Patent ductus arteriosus is a heart condition that affects premature babies. The ductus arteriosus is an extra blood vessel found in the fetus which normally closes at birth. It allows blood to bypass the unborn baby’s fluid-filled non-functioning lungs while it is still in the womb.
In premature babies, that vessel sometimes doesn’t close off as it should, messing up the circulation of blood between the heart chambers and to the lungs.
During Ollie’s 15-week stay at the hospital, the baby was moved from one ventilator to the next piece of equipment—all which helped support him until he could eventually breathe on his own, his father explained on the campaign page.
“When he was born he could just fit in the palm of my hand and it’s crazy looking back at pictures to see just how small he was.”
“It was such a scary thing to go through but I wouldn’t change my experience for the world,” Harrison told Hull Live. “To have my first child was amazing – I didn’t think I was ready but now having Ollie in my life is the best thing that has happened to me.
Smallest Baby Boy Ever to Survive Heads Home
In February, a Japanese boy became the smallest surviving baby boy in the world, heading home from the hospital where he had been born weighing just 9.45 ounces.
The baby, who hasn’t been named in reports, was delivered through Caesarean-section last August after he failed to gain weight during pregnancy and doctors feared his life was in danger after his 24-week scan.
According to Keio University hospital, he was in intensive care until he reached 7 pounds, and he was then sent home on Feb. 20.
“I am grateful that he has grown this big because, honestly, I wasn’t sure he could survive,” the boy’s mother told Reuters.