A premature baby born at 23 weeks is celebrating his first Christmas, but his head is too small for a baby’s Santa hat so he has to wear one made for a teddy bear.
Little Dexter Hyatt only fits into the tiny hat designed for a Build-A-Bear teddy after his family discovered all other festive headwear for babies slipped down over his eyes.
Dexter came into the world on August 7 weighing just 550g (1lb 3oz) and had to wear specially-adapted nappies and vests, both which swamped his tiny frame, and the whole of his tiny hand fitted around the pad of his dad’s little finger.
After spending more than four months in hospital, the tiny tot battled through several life-threatening health scares and defied doctors’ predictions by being discharged on December 1 – the day after his original due date.
Now Dexter is being cared for at home in Mitcham Walk, Quarrendon by proud parents Nina and Mark Hyatt and older sister Courtney, who was thrilled to celebrate her 18th birthday with her baby brother on December 2.
The nursery worker said: “They said he wouldn’t be home until after Christmas so I never thought he’d see me open my presents. It’s amazing.”
Nina, 38, said: “Last year was really hard because we’d just lost our premature daughter Lucy, and we thought we’d lose Dexter too. We didn’t think we could go through all that heartache again.
“All we wanted was to have our precious boy home for Christmas, and now we do. We’re so happy.”
The family are excited to help their little miracle open his presents on the 25th.
Soon after they took him home, the Hyatts recall the first time they ventured out with Dexter in his pram, with Mark wearing the oxygen tank backpack.
The 48-year-old, who works as a sales executive at Perrys on the Bicester Road, said: “I felt a bit like a scuba diver with the backpack and the wires. All I needed were a pair of flippers!”
Nina said: “People were looking at us because we had the backpack, but we didn’t care because it was the first time we’d really felt like proper parents. It was magical.”
Dexter now weighs 5lb 7oz, fits into some newborn clothes and is continuing to put on weight.
The tot is now off all medicines, but is still having regular blood tests and will most likely be on oxygen until he is five.
The amount of oxygen will be reduced as his lungs become stronger and now he passed his sight and hearing tests with flying colours, it is hoped his early entry into the world won’t leave him with any lasting disabilities.
The Facebook page set up by Nina to document the days following Dexter’s birth now has 556 members and the Hyatts say the reaction and support they’ve had for him has been ‘incredible’, with some people sending their well-wishes from across the world.
He has now become somewhat of a celebrity in Aylesbury, as theHyatts discovered when they took him for a check up at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Nina said: “Some nurses came over to us and asked: ‘Is this Dexter, the baby who’s been in the paper?’ and we said ‘yes, that’s him!’. We think he’s the strongest boy in the world.”