LITTLE fighter Haris Mockbill looks a picture of health after beating all the odds to reach his first birthday.
Haris was born 16 weeks premature, weighing just 1lb 10oz and given little chance of survival by doctors.
His lungs were under-developed and diseased, leaving him unable to breathe on his own.
After he clung to life for two weeks, his parents, Ellie Barr, 28, and Hassan Mockbill, 31, were told to say their goodbyes.
Doctors tried one last-ditch treatment, a course of steroids, and, against all odds, it worked. Weeks later, Haris was well enough to leave intensive care.
A year on, he weighs a stone, is taking his first steps and growing into the playful, cheeky boy his parents hoped for.
Community worker Ellie said: “He overcame everything that was thrown at him. He never gave up.
“We are a perfect little family now and it was so worth all of the fighting.”
Ellie, from Birmingham, experienced frequent heavy bleeding throughout her pregnancy and was closely monitored by doctors at the city’s Heartlands Hospital.
But, on July 9 last year, after one heavy bout of bleeding, Haris was born at 24 weeks — days after the legal limit for an abortion.
‘HE JUST DECIDED HE WAS COMING’
Ellie, who has a two-year-old son, Elias, said: “He just decided he was coming. I had to push.
“We had no idea if he was alive or not. I couldn’t hold him until he was ten days old. It was horrible.
“We had no idea if he would make it or not.”
Doctors smothered him in bubble wrap to stabilise his temperature. But Haris’s lungs were not strong enough to work alone and he was dependent on a ventilator.
Ellie and Hassan, a roadside assistant, were taken into a room and told their son probably would not make it through the day.
Ellie said: “He was really struggling to breathe and his body was shutting down.
‘LAST DAY WITH HIM’
“I tried to cling on to any bit of hope but the doctors said it would probably be our last day with him.”
Doctors injected him with steroids to clear the fluid from his lungs.
The eight-day course saved his life and Ellie said: “When he pulled through we just couldn’t believe it. He has never stopped fighting.”
At 13 weeks, his condition had improved and Haris was transferred to a special care ward.
To celebrate this major breakthrough, the family held a special graduation ceremony. Because Haris was so small, his parents ordered his gown from a teddy bear factory.
He was discharged 19 days later on October 11. But he was still very poorly and would require round-the-clock care from his parents.
By March, Haris was able to breathe unaided and, in July, his parents celebrated his first birthday with another big party.
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He faces more health battles. A bleed on the brain threatens to leave a disability — another setback for Ellie and Hassan, who has a third son, Kaysan, nine.
“It was hard to take but as long as he’s still with us and not in pain, that’s all that matters,” said Ellie. “He is a true inspiration and I am so proud of him.”
The family spoke out to promote World Prematurity Day on November 17.
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