A miracle baby born three months early was kept alive by medics who wrapped him up in BUBBLE WRAP.
Tiny Marleigh Bleu Brooker weighed just 1lb 13oz when he arrived at 27 weeks, and experts said his chances of survival were 'slim'.
His mum, Paige Worthington-Mort, was stunned when medics popped him in a sandwich bag, which mimicked the womb, before wrapping him up in bubble wrap to insulate him and protect his delicate skin.
Paige and partner Jason Brooker, 28, banned from holding their son as he was so fragile.
But now, 15 months on, the tot has defied the odds and is thriving.
Paige, 22, said: "We're so lucky Marleigh is here and doing so well.
"We were scared we were going to lose him and doctors warned us he might not make it.
"We had a naming ceremony and gathered all of our family together to meet him – but also potentially say goodbye at the same time.
"We willed him to keep fighting and to pull through.
"Thankfully, despite all that was thrown at him, he got stronger with each day and now he's doing so well. He's a little miracle."
Paige, a support worker for adults with learning disabilities, had a textbook pregnancy to begin with and only developed problems in the later stages.
She began to swell to an abnormally large size at 19 weeks and by 24 weeks she was huge.
The doctor examined Paige and told her she had developed pre-eclampsia – a condition that affects some pregnant women, resulting in high blood pressure and swelling. It can prove fatal if not monitored or treated.
She said: "It was quite smooth-sailing to start with, but I ended up having it all.
"I didn't realise how serious it was and drove myself to hospital, adamant I would be going home that evening.
"But they said I couldn't leave until my blood pressure was under control."
By the end of the third week Paige was told her condition was so serious her baby would need to be delivered early and she was taken from hospital in Cornwall to one in Devon.
She added: "I was told if Marleigh was left for another 24 hours – and hadn't been born via emergency C-section – both me and him would have died."
"I was told my body was shutting down and he needed to come out 'now'."
Marleigh arrived at 7.53pm on Mother's Day last year and was whisked straight to neo-natal care.
Paige said: "I didn't get to see or hold him. I could only look at pictures that my mum had taken of him.
"Even when he arrived, the fight wasn't over as he was so small and sick – you could almost see through his thin skin and he was as long as my hand.
"The next morning he was a funny dark red and purple colour and looked like he was struggling. It panicked me.
"I got to touch him in the first 24 hours. They said his chance of survival was slim, so they encouraged me to touch him as much as possible. But I still had hope. He was in bubble wrap constantly but they put more layers on him to try and keep him at a good temperature."
Fearing they might lose their son, the couple urged relatives to come and say their goodbyes.
They were told Marleigh had Pierre Robin sequence, a set of abnormalities affecting the head and face. He spent nine months in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, winning every battle along the way before being allowed home.
During his time on the ward Marleigh underwent eight blood transfusions and suffered two small bleeds on the brain, two hernias, an open duct in his heart and also sepsis. Another complication was Marleigh's collapsed lungs and unstable airway. The tot was given a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe.
He is now completely dependent on it for air pressure regulation and oxygen.
But Paige, of Camborne, Cornwall, said: "No matter what's been thrown at him, he has always bounced back.
"He is the happiest baby I've met, he just wants lots of love. He's very determined and because of that he's making massive progress with his development.
"I can honestly say I feel like the proudest mum. He has proved so many people wrong.
"I will forever tell him how proud I am of him. He's my everything and turned me into a much better person."
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