Leeds mum to stride out in aid of baby charity

'DETERMINATION': Cathy Griffiths with her son Karapha who is now a thriving schoolboy. PIC: Simon Hulme
'DETERMINATION': Cathy Griffiths with her son Karapha who is now a thriving schoolboy. PIC: Simon Hulme
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PREMATURE baby boy Karapha Griffiths wasn’t expected to survive after being born at 30 weeks weighing less than one-and-a-half pounds.

Karapha was born by emergency C-section at Leeds General Infirmary on November 23, 2012 weighing just 1.49lb and spent the first months of his life in hospital.

Each of his tiny hands was the size of one of his mother Cathy Griffiths’ fingertips.

Karapha underwent two hernia operations, four blood transfusions and fought back after suffering from sepsis.

He had to stay in hospital until he weighed 6lb when Miss Griffiths, of Chapeltown, took him home the first time when he was five-and-a-half-months-old.

Karapha had to have portable oxygen to help him breathe for the first 18 months of his life and has had to be fed through a tube into his stomach for the majority of his life.

Now Karapha is a thriving schoolboy who enjoys lessons at Hillcrest Academy, Chapeltown.

His mother Miss Griffiths and her family and friends are set to take part in a sponsored walk at Potternewton Park on World Prematurity Day on November 17.

She wants to raise cash for charity Bliss, which supports families of babies born premature or sick.

Miss Griffiths said problems with the pregnancy became apparent at 26 weeks.

Doctors took the decision to perform an emergency C-section at 30 weeks as they feared Karapha was at risk of heart failure.

Miss Griffiths said: “He wasn’t expected to survive. It was terrifying and I just hoped for the best.

“You don’t want to hope too hard but you don’t want to surrender to what is possibly the truth.”

She added: “It is mind blowing to see Karapha now. He is strong, wilful and determined little boy. I think that determination helped him survive.”