Dream come true: Baby born at 23 weeks goes home to mother who had suffered EIGHT miscarriages
A woman who had eight miscarriages before giving birth to a baby boy at just 23 weeks is at last celebrating after her son was judged well enough to come home.
Sarah Bradbury and husband Scott have spent the last 10 years trying to start a family.
But Sarah miscarried each time she fell pregnant due to a medical condition that weakened her cervix.
Sarah Bradbury, had eight miscarriages before giving birth to Joseph at just 23 weeks. He has now been allowed home to his parents for the first time
The couple hardly dared to become excited when Sarah fell pregnant again last March and when she went into premature labour five months later they feared yet more heartbreak.
Joseph Bradbury was born at 23 weeks and five days, weighing just 1lb 6ozs, and just before the legal cut-off time for an abortion.
He was only given a 10 per cent chance of survival and spent eight weeks hooked up to a life support machine.
The youngster also had eight blood transfusions and at just six-weeks-old underwent surgery to fix a valve in his heart. He also had treatment to keep his lungs inflated.
But Joseph continued to defy the odds and has battled back to health.
Now after seven months he is well enough to leave hospital to go home with his delighted parents.
Sarah, 30, from Wyke Regis, near Weymouth, Dorset, said: “Joseph fought against the odds and won. We are so delighted he is in the world. He is a complete miracle.
“It still feels like a dream and I keep thinking I will wake up and somebody will tell me that it isn”t true.”
Sarah had seven miscarriages before she gave birth in 2009 to son Ben, who tragically died within a few minutes of being born.
Sarah underwent an operation to treat the problem with her cervix when she fell pregnant with Joseph.
But a stitch became infected which triggered an eight hour premature labour on August 28.
Premature: Joseph weighed just 1lb 6oz at birth
Sarah, a nursing assistant, said: “After what had happened we were beginning to doubt that we would ever have a baby but we found the strength to carry on.
“When I went into labour with Joseph I just thought I was going to lose another baby and Joseph would be the same as the others.
“When he was born the doctors took him away and then said he was in a good condition and that”s when we began to get our hopes up.
“We had lost so many babies, we were just glad that Joseph was alive.
But the next morning we saw the doctor again and he gave Joseph less than a 10 per cent chance of survival because his lungs were really bad.
“He has probably been through more treatment in the first seven months of his life than most people undergo in a lifetime.”
Joseph spent the first 13 weeks of his life at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. The couple made the 160 mile round trip every day while he was there.
He was then transferred to the threatened paediatric cardiology unit at Southampton Hospital, where he had the heart surgery.
He was later sent to the baby care unit at the Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester before being allowed home.
Scott, a 36-year-old customer advisor at a bank, said: “Joseph is remarkably relaxed considering what he has been through.
“We”ve been waiting for so long to have a baby. We never gave up trying. Even though Joseph was early and all the stress we went through we are so glad he is here with us now.”
Sarah said that after the death of Ben in 2009 the couple turned to their local church, St Joseph”s, who their son is named after.
She said: “We”ve been through so much. I think there is a reason why Joseph was born this way and why he is who he is.”
Joseph is on home oxygen and will have regular hospital check-ups for the foreseeable future before he can start leading a normal life.
The couple have also joined the campaign to keep the paediatric cardiology ward at Southampton Hospital open.
Sarah said: “If they can do heart surgery on a baby who weighed 1lb 13 ounces then that must prove its worth.”
She said if it were to close then families would be forced to travel twice the distance to London or Bristol.