Miracle baby barely survived last New Year, now thriving
THIS New Year will be extra special for 20-month-old Noah Prestwood and his family.
It will be the first time the plucky youngster spends it at home and not battling ill-health in hospital.
Noah was born three months early to single mum Tina Prestwood, 26, from Grimsby, North Lincolnshire, in 2016 and nearly died last New Year after contracting sepsis.
Delighted to finally have her little boy home this festive season, Tina intends to "spoil him rotten".
Tina shared her remarkable story;
This time last year things didn't look good for Noah.
He was fighting for his life in a hospital bed, covered with tubes, having been diagnosed with life-threatening sepsis which developed from the winter flu.
We were told he might die - words no mum ever wants to hear.
Noah hadn't had an easy start. He was born at 28 weeks at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital weighing just 1lb 9oz (861 grams).
I had been sent there for a second opinion after a scan at my local hospital in Grimsby showed that he was very small and not really moving.
Less than four hours after arriving in Sheffield I was being prepared for an emergency caesarean. It was terrifying.
Although he was very small, Noah did really well those first few weeks and it wasn't long before we were transferred back to Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby.
I was excited. It felt like I was a step closer to getting my baby back home.
However within 24 hours of arriving back at our local hospital Noah had been ventilated and we were being blue-lighted back to Sheffield.
Noah had contracted necrotising enterocolitisa, a life-threatening infection where part of the bowel becomes inflamed and begins to die.
Three days later and showing little sign of improvement, Noah had his first surgery.
He had 15cm of infected bowel removed and was given a stoma, which is an opening on the surface of the abdomen through which he would pass poo.
Noah could no longer be fed milk through his feeding tube and was transferred over onto total parenteral nutrition, which meant all his nutritional needs were delivered directly into his veins via a line, bypassing his digestive system altogether.
During this time I was given a home in the hospital by the Sick Children's Trust. It was a real relief to be close to him.
In October 2017, when Noah was over seven months old, although the surgeon hadn't successfully managed to reverse Noah's stoma he was discharged and I took him home for the very first time.
I loved having my happy, gorgeous baby home - I was so excited to be a mum.
I knew we would have to go back to Sheffield for further surgery in time, but I didn't expect it to be so soon.
It really felt like we were taking one step forward and two steps back when, just five weeks after getting home, Noah became seriously ill once again and was re-admitted.
He was vomiting all his feeds, had become severely dehydrated and, even worse, his food line had become infected.
Over the next few months we lurched from one emergency to another, with things reaching crisis point just after Christmas.
The hospital team called me directly on the line in my room to say Noah was in a critical condition and had been transferred to the intensive care unit.
Not only did Noah have flu, he had also contracted sepsis.
Once again time froze as my precious baby was incubated and specialists fought to save his life, while the world around us celebrated the New Year.
It was up and down at the beginning of the year and the hardest time of my life.
But Noah successfully underwent stoma reversal surgery at 14 months old and was discharged just over four weeks later in July this year.
It was an incredible, yet daunting feeling to say goodbye to the hospital.
I recently had him christened, which was a very emotional day.
There were points during his journey I thought he wouldn't he wouldn't make it. This New Year he will be back home.
It's amazing to think he was so sick last year. I'll be spoiling him rotten - like he deserves. He's a wonderful little boy - he's my New Year miracle.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished here with permission.