A premature baby born the size of a Superman action figure made a miraculous survival – and now celebrates every milestone with his sidekick by his side.
Logan Ray was born at 23 weeks gestation – just one week before the abortion cut off limit.
He weighed just 1.5lb and was the same length as a tiny 12 inch Superman doll bought by his dad, Rob, 42.
Doctors told his parents to prepare for the worst – but just like his cot side toy, little Logan wasn’t giving up without a fight.
And with each miracle week that passed, he finally dwarfed his action hero until after 105 days in hospital, he got to go home.
Mum Val, 34, said her son definitely drew on superpowers to survive – and takes photos of Logan, now four, with Superman every year, to remind her how far he’s come.
She said: “He is a little superhero himself. Even when he was just a pound and a half in weight I called him my little ‘tough guy’.
“The doctor would look at me and say ‘we will see how he does’ and I’d just keep saying ‘he’s a tough guy’!
“Still to this day, she will message me on Facebook and ask how our little tough guy is doing.
“We had nurses suggest putting something next to him to compare size wise. I didn’t want to leave the hospital so I had Rob go out instead.
“I told him to pick out something that he thought would be appropriate like a doll that we could disinfect and put inside the incubator.
“He called me and said what about a Superman? I thought it was perfect!”
Stay at home mum Val was 21 weeks pregnant with firstborn Logan when she went to see her doctor with a hunch something was wrong.
An ultrasound revealed Val had an incompetent cervix – a medical condition where the cervix shortens and opens prematurely, often causing women to miscarry.
Her cervix had almost disappeared and she was rushed to hospital for a cerclage – where doctors stitch it back together.
The surgery was unsuccessful and the expectant parents were told to prepare for the worst.
Val said: “The doctors basically told Rob and I that they were going to send us home to miscarry.
“Both Rob and I looked at the doctor and said ‘we’re not going anywhere, whether we have him tomorrow or have him four months from now, we’re staying in the hospital’.
“They put me on bedrest in the hospital after that, where my head had to be lower than my feet at all times.
“I wasn’t allowed to get up at all and I was like that for 20 days.”
Proud husband Rob added: “She’s downplaying this, by the way!
“She laid upside down basically with her head lower than her feet for 20 days without getting out of the bed to do anything.
“To be honest, she’s incredible.
“I didn’t realise how strong my wife was until I saw her lie in that bed like that upside down all those days.
“She didn’t complain at all – she just laid there like ‘I’ll stay here for months if I need to’.”
Val’s waters eventually broke and after 20 dizzying days upside down and 32 hours of labour, she finally gave birth to tiny Logan on July 25 2016.
After a brief moment with Val, he was rushed to the NICU ward where his dad watched on as he was quickly ventilated.
Little Logan had two brain bleeds and two holes in his heart as well as an inguinal hernia and urinary tract infection.
It was touch and go for the brave boy and he was flown to Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon, in case he needed dialysis, at just five weeks old.
Painting contractor Rob said: “Luckily, his test results came back a few days later and showed he had a UTI which is very uncommon in boys and super rare in premature babies so he didn’t need dialysis.
“There was a real fear of losing him at that point. We really thought he didn’t have much chance of pulling through.”
Val added: “We had a couple of times like that, that’s for sure.”
After medication cured his UTI, Logan underwent laser eye surgery at just 11 weeks old to fix his retinopathy of prematurity that could have left him blind.
Against the odds, he pulled through and went home to his family after 105 long days in hospital to celebrate his first Christmas at home, in Bend, Oregon.
Four years later, Logan is a healthy and happy little boy with no health problems and still has his Superman sidekick with him to celebrate every birthday together.
Val said: “We take a picture every birthday where Logan holds his Superman and it’s amazing seeing the size difference now.
“We keep Superman up on a shelf because we want to keep it in one piece but Logan does hold it when we take it out for photos for his birthday.
“He looks at it and we tell him that’s how big he used to be but I don’t know if he quite gets that concept yet!”
Rob said: “He’s just an incredible little boy. A lot of these babies born at 23 weeks have tons of health problems but Logan just didn’t, thank god.
“He’s a smart little kid, my little boy, he really is.”