A six-month-old premature baby who was born at just 23 weeks has been discharged from hospital after fighting off a potentially deadly virus.
Dexter Hyatt was born four months premature on August 7 following a traumatic birth and weighed a tiny 550g (1lb 3oz), but he recently tipped the scales at 7lb 1oz.
He spent his first months in specialist neo-natal care units at both John Radcliffe and Stoke Mandeville Hospitals but was finally allowed to go home with parents Mark and Nina and older sister Courtney, 18, on December 1 – one day after his original due date.
But the tot was rushed to Stoke Mandeville on Tuesday with breathing difficulties and suspected bronchiolitis, a lower respiratory tract infection that most commonly affects babies under a year old.
After further tests, doctors diagnosed him with respiratory synctial virus or RSV, which could have been fatal in a child born as early as Dexter.
But despite his parents’ fears, determined Dexter fought off the disease and was able to go home to the flat in Mitcham Walk, Aylesbury where he lives with his family yesterday morning.
Now he is getting stronger by the day; he recently passed his hearing test and is due another sight test on Friday.
While the youngster is on oxygen for his chronic lung condition, the amount is being gradually decreased as his lungs get stronger.
Nina, 38, said: “It’s amazing having him home and life couldn’t be better. He is changing so fast and is ahead of some of his milestones.
“He can almost keep his head up now, he smiles and he’s starting to make tiny cooing noises which is amazing for his corrected age.
“He starts physiotherapy this week too, so they will see where he is advanced and what he is struggling on.
“He makes me proud everyday. Who wouldn’t want a little miracle like mine?”
When Dexter made his early entry into the world, Nina set up a Facebook group for her son and posted daily updates and photos to the group to allow friends and family to keep up with his progress.
Now the page has 567 members – some from as far afield as New Zealand and the US – and continues to document Dexter’s journey.
Posting on the page yesterday, Nina said: “When your child is in hospital, your life stops and you wonder how you would cope without them, it’s then I realise that I have the strongest boy in the world.
“I look at him and realise this boy has been through so much, more then most adults could cope with, and I ask myself why?
“And it’s because he is determined to fight everything and show the world that miracles happen and love and faith get us all through.
“I love you, Dexter and no matter how your future is, I will always be proud of my miracle baby.”