A mother who was told her baby would die a day after he was born, has proudly watched him start his first day of school, four years on.
Abbey Burns, 25, went into labour at just 27 weeks, three months earlier than expected.
She said, “Because it was so early I thought my pains were those Braxton Hicks ones, where it feels like contractions but it’s not.
“When I went to the hospital they told me that I was already six centimetres dilated, so I was over half way into labour.
“It was all so quick, and four hours later Roman was born, but I didn’t even get to hold him.
“He was taken off me straight away because they had to resuscitate him.”
Four-year-old Roman weighed just 2 lbs and 11 ounces when he was born, and was born with Group B Strep, which is a type of bacteria, which in turn caused him to develop sepsis.
Sepsis occurs when the body overreacts to an infection and then turns on itself, resulting in damage to the organs and tissues.
The trauma of his early birth also caused Roman to develop a grade three bleed on his brain, which was so significant it caused the ventricles in his brain, which are responsible for carrying cerebral fluid, to enlarge.
“We were called into a room with the nurses and the consultant and the doctor, and they sat us down and told us that we had to prepare for the worst and that Roman was most likely to die.
“When I saw him he was black and blue and you could see through his skin.
!He looked awful,” said Miss Burns.
Miss Burns, from Stanway, Colchester, said, “There needs to be more awareness about strep B because it’s more common than people realise.”
The NHS website claims that Group B Strep is very common and that 2 in 5 people have it living in their body, in particular women.
The website also says that babies in particular can be susceptible to contracting Group Strep B during labour.
“The fact that he can walk is amazing,” said Miss Burns.
The bleed on his brain caused Roman to suffer mobility problems and as a result he’s had to have both physiotherapy and speech therapy.
Miss Burns said, “He didn’t walk until he was just over two years old, he had physiotherapy every month, where they had to teach him how to crawl, teach him how to sit up, teach him how to walk.”
In total Roman spent three months in hospital, with six weeks at Addenbrookes, Cambridge, and six weeks at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.
“By the time Roman was discharged from hospital, is when I should have been giving birth.
“He’s my little miracle,” said Miss Burns.
Now, four years on, Roman has started school while his proud mum looks on: “I’m so proud of how far we’ve all come in these last four years.
Roman started school at Stanway Primary School on Tuesday (September 10th), and according to his mum has, “loved it so far.”
“He doesn’t always want to leave me in the morning but at the end of the day he always comes out smiling and happy.”