This is the adorable moment a tiny baby born just three days after the abortion limit ‘graduated’ from the intensive care unit after fighting for his life.
Little Haris Mockbill was born at 24 weeks and three days weighing just 750g (1lb 10oz) and given almost no chance of survival by doctors.
He was born so prematurely his lungs were under developed and had chronic lung disease meaning he was unable to breathe on his own.
Doctors wrapped him in bubble wrap to stabilise his temperature, but after fighting to survive for two weeks his devastated parents were told to say their goodbyes.
But after Ellie Barr, 28, and Hassan Mockbill, 31, prepared themselves for the worst, Haris pulled through thanks to a last ditch attempt by doctors to save his life.
He graduated from NICU after thirteen weeks in hospital, and now aged one, Haris weighs more than one stone and this month took his very first steps.
Ellie, from Birmingham, said: “We were told we were going to lose him. He was really struggling to breathe and his body was shutting down.
“We had a priest go into the hospital to baptise him because we thought it would have been our last day with him.
“I tried to cling on to hope but the doctor said most babies as poorly as Haris was just don’t make it.
“When he pulled through we just could not believe it. I wanted to make sure I did something special when he was getting better.
“We bought him a little gown and a hat. He looked so cute and it’s a special memory for us now.
“When we look back at the photo we realise how far he has come.”
Community worker Ellie experienced frequent heavy bleeding throughout the pregnancy and said she regularly presented at A&E worried about her blood loss.
Ellie was closely monitored by doctors at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham.
She was admitted to a ward for a short time in February 2018 but where possible was told to manage her bleeds at home by her consultant.
Ellie was admitted to hospital for a second time on July 7 she experienced a heavier than usual bleed.
Two days later Ellie said Haris – due to be born on October 26 2018 – “decided it was time”, and he was born on July 9 weighing a tiny 750g.
Ellie, who has a two-year-old son, Elias, said: “The birth was really traumatic. It was lucky we were in the right place at the right time.
“He just decided he was coming. I had to push.
“We had no idea if he was alive or not. We weren’t allowed to hold him at all and he was taken off into a separate room.
“I couldn’t hold him until he was ten days old, it was horrible. The first couple of days were crucial and we had no idea if he would make it or not.”
Haris’ life was on the line because he was born with chronic lung disease meaning his lungs were not fully formed.
His lungs simply weren’t strong enough to work alone and for the first nine months of his life Haris was dependent on a ventilator to breathe for him.
But when he was just two weeks old and still in NICU at Heartland Hospital, his condition plummeted when his lungs filled with fluid.
Ellie and Hassan, a roadside recovery worker, were taken into a room and told despite the best efforts of doctors, Haris probably wouldn’t make it through the day.
Ellie said: “They said Haris was very poorly and all of our family was welcome to come and visit.
“A priest baptised him in hospital because we thought we were losing him and wanted him Christened.
“We all said our goodbyes. It was the worst thing I’ve ever had to go through. I really struggled because I could see he was fighting and I wanted to fight for him too.
“I tried to cling on to any bit of hope but the doctors said it would probably be our last day with him.”
After being close to death on July 25, Haris miraculously came back from the brink after doctors administered a strong course of steroids aimed at clearing the fluid from his lungs.
The eight-day course of medicine saved Haris’ life, but a scan of his brain during his recovery discovered a grade 4 bleed on the brain.
Devastatingly for Ellie and Hassan, who also has third son, Kaysan, nine, this means Haris may grow up to develop a disability.
“There’s nothing we can do to help him with that and he might grow up with a disability”, said Ellie.
“It was hard to take but as long as he’s still with us and not in pain, that’s all that matters.
“When he pulled through we just couldn’t believe it. He has never stopped fighting.”
From that point onwards Haris has went on to make a slow and steady recovery.
For the first two months of his life Haris was looked after in critical care – the highest level of supervision and support.
His critical condition was downgraded on September 22 and Haris was removed from an intensive care incubator and transferred to a cot on a special care ward.
This was a huge breakthrough for Ellie and her family and to celebrate – the family held a special graduation ceremony on the day he was transferred.
Ellie said: “We just really wanted to do something special because it meant he was one step closer to coming home.
“Because Haris was so small, we had to buy his graduation gown from a teddy bear factory in order to fit him.
“It was such an amazing day for us and it felt like we were finally getting somewhere.”
Haris was discharged from hospital completely just 19 days later on October 11.
But he was still very poorly and would require around-the-clock care from his parents.
The “terrified” couple sent home with Haris hooked up to low oxygen flow system and feeding tubes so he could continue his recovery at home.
His lungs were still developing and right up until March this year he was unable to breathe on his own.
Between October last year and March, the amount of oxygen Haris received from the ventilator was reduced every four weeks as he lungs grew stronger.
By the time Haris turned one-year-old, in July, he was fully recovered and had started to develop a “cheeky” and playful personality.
Ellie describes him as a “little terror” who brings a smile to the face of whoever he meets.
She says being able to bring Haris home “meant the world” to her, and she’s now focused on spending time with Hassan and Elias as a “happy family”.
Ellie said: “He is a true inspiration and I am so proud of him. We had a massive party for him on his first birthday.
“He has beaten the odds and overcome 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.
“We never gave up hope.”
The family are campaigning to raise awareness of World Prematurity Day, on November 17, and are working on raising awareness of the difficulties of parenting a premature baby.