Exclusive: Leeds ‘miracle’ baby home

Proud parents Danielle Deacon and Luke Addinall with baby Oliver.
Proud parents Danielle Deacon and Luke Addinall with baby Oliver.
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The parents of a miracle baby, who was born weighing just 1lb 15oz, have finally brought him home seven months after birth – in time for Mother’s Day.

Danielle Deacon, from Manor Farms, Middleton, gave birth to Oliver Leon Addinall 16 weeks early at Leeds St James’ Hospital on August 17, 2011.

Oliver, who still only weighs 11lb 15oz, has spent almost all of his short life in hospital and on a ventilator after being born with chronic lung disease.

But the resilient youngster arrived home on March 15, just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day with his family.

Sales assistant Danielle, 22, said: “He is my present, he’s my birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter in one.

“My perfect mother’s day will be to go out for a little walk with him.”

In August, Danielle started having pains but was so convinced that she wasn’t ready to give birth that she paid for a taxi to Leeds St James’ Hospital, rather than calling an ambulance.

But soon enough her pains turned to contractions and Oliver was born and quickly transferred to Leeds General Infirmary’s high dependency unit.

Oliver spent 13 weeks on a ventilator and Danielle had to wait two months before she could hold him.

She said: “My worst point was him getting sent over in the first few hours, the transfer to St James’ even though it was only 15 minutes was so crucial, it was nerve racking.

“We were told his breathing was deteriorating and he might not have survived the night.”

Oliver’s father Luke Addinall, had been doing basic training at the British Army’s Catterick Garrison.

He rushed back from the base on compassionate leave and eventually left the army – he was due to be deployed to Afghanistan on March 10.

Luke would have joined up with 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, the same battalion that lost five soldiers in a blast in Helmand Province last week.

Danielle said: “When you think about it sometimes, how Oliver came early, it makes you think that he came early for a reason.”

But Oliver’s health has remained an issue and doctors even considered turning off his ventilator.

Luke, 21, who has now left the army, said: “They asked us to think about the consequences but we didn’t want to think about that and were hoping and praying that he would come through. The support of the other parents was amazing. If we hadn’t have had that I don’t think we would have got through.”

Since then Oliver has had laser eye treatment and a tracheotomy to open up his airway.

Oliver’s troublesome airway has meant he has stopped breathing more than 10 times – once for eight minutes.

They had to resuscitate him last week after his tracheal tube came out.

Danielle added: “It’s a constant worry but with teaching and support it puts our minds at rest. He’s my little miracle, he’s just everything – I couldn’t imagine him not being here.”

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