A miracle baby whose parents were told might not survive a single day when he was born weighing just 20oz has celebrated his first birthday at home.
Brave Jase-James Rogers was given just five per chance of survival by doctors when he was born at 23 weeks.
The tiny tot weighed just 590 grams – about the same as a block of butter or a can of soup – and suffered from two brain bleeds and a hole in his heart.
He was rushed to a specialist neonatal intensive care unit where he was put on a life support machine.
His terrified parents Leah Rogers and William McCready feared for the worst and even had him baptised when he was just a few weeks old.
But a year on he weighs a healthy 17lb 3oz and has settled into the family home in Blackpool, Lancs.
Leah, 21, said: “He’s doing brilliantly, we’re so proud of him. He is developing well and always smiling and laughing. He’s such a happy, cheeky little boy.
“I never thought we would get this far, but we’re so happy to have him home. It’s amazing.”
Leah, a community carer, thought she was suffering a miscarriage when she started bleeding on January 5 last year, but doctors told her that she was going into labour.
She gave birth to Jase-James at 10.21pm in Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where doctors delivered the devastating news that they did not expect him to survive the next day.
He was whisked off to Preston Royal Hospital for specialist neonatal care and it was two weeks before Leah could hold her precious son.
When she was finally able to hold him, he was still so small that his entire body fit into her hands.
Leah said: “It was so scary seeing him struggling and with so many wires and tubes coming out of him.
“It was awful to be told that I was going to give birth but he might not make it and I couldn’t hold him. I couldn’t get my head around it.
“It took around 10-15 minutes for him to take his first breath, it was a really scary time.
“My mum pleaded and begged them to do everything they could to keep him alive.”
The battling baby spent two months in the specialist unit at Preston before being transferred back to Blackpool Victoria in March.
A machine helped him breath as his lungs were not capable on their own.
Yet after two rounds of life-saving steroids and two operations, he was finally allowed home on May 9 and is now beaming at home with parents Leah and William, 19.
Leah added: “He’s such a happy little boy and he’s a very healthy size now considering how little he was.
“When he was born he wore tiny nappies that were the size of a bauble, but now he’s into size five.
“We feel very lucky, it is just amazing. He’s started saying ‘Dadda’ and he’s rolling over and doing really well.
“I just look at him sometimes and think I’m so proud to be his mum. He’s so strong and such a battler.”
Jase-james had to have an operation at Liverpool Hospital to save his eyesight and later underwent hernia repair surgery at Manchester Children’s Hospital.
He also had to receive oxygen at home until August and his family had to wait for a cuddle due to lockdown.
Leah said she was “extra careful” with Jase-james because of how vulnerable he was.
But since coming off the oxygen, she says the tough tot has come on “leaps and bounds” and celebrated his birthday with presents, balloons and a cake.
She added: “Because of lockdown, everyone had to wait for a cuddle. It was especially tough for my niece who is just 10 years old and didn’t understand it all. But everyone has made up for it since then.
“When he was discharged he was still on oxygen for a month or two. I didn’t even sleep. I just sat up all night watching him breathe.
“We had an apnea machine to monitor his breathing and we kept it on all day.
“He has come on leaps and bounds since coming off the oxygen.
“He’s recently trying to sit up on his own. I’ve never seen such a happy baby in my life, considering what he’s been through.”