Premature Dexter free of oxygen just eight months after being born at 23 weeks

Dexter Hyatt
Dexter Hyatt
  • Dexter is off oxygen forever despite doctor’s warnings he could be on it for several years
  • Eight-month-old is tucking into ‘anything and everything’, and is also sitting up and standing
  • Great news after family was told he would be behind his peers with his milestones
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A baby boy who was born four months early is defying the doctors by smashing his milestones months earlier than predicted.

Dexter Hyatt was born prematurely on August 7 last year weighing 1lb 3oz – the same as a bag of sugar – but eight months on he is thriving: sitting up, weaning, standing and free of oxygen tanks forever.

Dexter is tucking in to selected finger foods as well as vegetable and fruit purees

Dexter is tucking in to selected finger foods as well as vegetable and fruit purees

Since birth, the tot had to be hooked up to oxygen due to his chronic lung condition, but doctors recently assessed him and said he was doing so well that he could come off it altogether, despite intial warnings he could be on it for years.

Dexter’s mum Nina, 38, said: “It’s amazing! He’s doing so well. The doctors said he wouldn’t be sitting up until he was 10 months old, but he’s been doing that for weeks now, and standing too.

“They told us he won’t be walking until he’s two but there’s no way he’ll be waiting a year and a half! He’s always wanting to move about.

“He’s babbling away and he knows who’s who now. Whenever I walk into the room, I get a massive smile.”

“The doctors said he wouldn’t be sitting up until he was 10 months old, but he’s been doing that for weeks now, and standing too.

Nina, Dexter’s mum

Nina, who lives with partner Mark and daughter Courtney, 18, in Quarrendon says her son has a big appetite and ‘eats anything’ he’s given.

He’s been tucking in to special high-calorie formula milk, fruit and vegetable purees as well as selected finger food, and at his latest weigh in he tipped the scales at 11lb 2oz.

But despite his progress, Dexter is still a ‘23-weeker’ and Nina says colds and sniffles that wouldn’t bother other babies tend to ‘knock him for six’.

She said: “We have to be really careful and keep an eye on him because his breathing isn’t like other babies – he still breathes much more heavily.”

He began sitting unaided months earlier than predicted

He began sitting unaided months earlier than predicted

Dexter spent the first five months of his life in special care baby units at both John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

He battled several infections but always came out fighting, and was finally allowed to go home to his family on December 1 last year.

Now mum Nina, dad Mark and big sister Courtney are looking to the future and throwing themselves into planning the tot’s 1st birthday in the summer.

Nina said: “We’re going to have a special cake, and all the nurses from the JR and Stoke Mandeville are coming over and Courtney is going to put up a slideshow of progress photos.

Dexter can now stand unaided while holding on to his toys and the sofa

Dexter can now stand unaided while holding on to his toys and the sofa

“It’s going to be a lovely day.”

To follow Dexter’s progress, visit his Facebook page here.

Dexter is a happy, smiley boy despite having to spend much of the beginning of his life in hospital

Dexter is a happy, smiley boy despite having to spend much of the beginning of his life in hospital