Miracle baby’s set to celebrate his 10th birthday too

A ‘miracle’ baby is celebrating his 10th birthday this year – the same year that the hospital that saved him also turns 10.

When Joseph was born in 2006 at University Hospital, Coventry he weighed just over 2lbs. He was born four months premature, and he was so tiny that his mum Michelle and dad Mark couldn’t hold him for the first four weeks of his life.

Doctors were worried that the tiny tot might not pull through - he stopped breathing countless times and suffered multiple complications from being born so early.

But Joseph received expert care from the neonatal team at University Hospital who care for more than 600 babies premature babies a year.

Machines had to breathe for him for four weeks because he was too weak to do it on his own and his parents, Michelle and Mark form Binley were warned to prepare for the worse. At just 10 weeks old paediatric ophthalmologists from Birmingham Children’s Hospital operated on his eyes to save his sight.

Mum Michelle said: “He looked like a little bird with no feathers when he was born and every day was a roller coaster of emotions, one minute we were feeling positive and the next minute something happened and it’s like the rug is pulled out from under you.”

But gradually Joseph began to make progress and if small milestones were reached in the night, kind hearted staff took photos of Joseph so his parents Michelle and Mark could see them in the morning. Michelle said: “It was such a wonderful and thoughtful thing to do that was appreciated much more than I think they know.”

On Christmas Day, Michelle and husband Mark watched their two older sons James and Ryan open their presents at home before the family came to the hospital to be with Joseph. Mum Michelle said: “I will never forget how thoughtful the staff were, they brought presents for James and Ryan. They didn’t have to do that, it just shows how much they care.”

After nearly three months on the Neonatal Unit he was allowed home on 29th January – 7 days before his due date.

And nearly ten years on and Joseph is a goalkeeper for his local team, the Ernesford Dynamos and he has just started karate.

Michelle said: “You would never know to look at him that he was born premature or that he had lung disease because of his prematurity. He is amazing and I am proud of him and my other two sons who have been a great support to their little brother. Nearly 10 years on and the compassion and care shown to Joseph and my family by the neonatal team at University Hospital has stayed with me and I hope that Joseph’s story gives hope to someone who might be going through the same thing.”

Consultant Neonatologist, Dr Kate Blake said: “I remember when Joseph was born and how poorly he was and I am delighted to see that being born prematurely hasn’t held him back. We care for over 600 babies a year that are born as early as Joseph and we are very lucky to have the latest equipment at our finger tips including a cooling system that reduces the body temperature of babies who have suffered a lack of oxygen at birth. We also have a fantastic team of doctors, nurses and support staff.”