Miracle boy has clean bill of health

Little Callum Duff with his parents Shane and Nicola. INLM20-107gc
Little Callum Duff with his parents Shane and Nicola. INLM20-107gc

HAVING been born when his mother was just 25 weeks pregnant, miracle baby Callum Duff has had a clean bill of health since he was discharged after 101 days in hospital.

Now two and a half, the Lurgan lad is fighting fit, though not a day goes by that his mother Nicola doesn’t recall his tiny beginnings.

She told the ‘MAIL’: “Callum is now two and a half. He’s been perfectly healthy since we got him home.

“He’s met all the milestones and is doing everything a two and a half month should.

“You look at him every day and can’t believe how small he was. It’s amazing he’s got to where he is now with no problems.”

When Nicola (28) went into premature labour at 25 weeks, she was truly petrified. She had developed HELLP Syndrome, a severe complication of pre eclampsia and the decision was taken to deliver her little boy, Callum via emergency caesarean section. He was born weighing just 398g and measuring just six inches in length - the smallest baby in Ireland at that time.

Nicola said: “We were told by a consultant Paediatrician that Callum was a lot smaller than they had first anticipated and that his chance of survival was extremely small.

“We knew we had to be realistic about the situation and were advised that we should take things an hour at a time.

Over the next eight weeks, dad Shane and Nicola watched on as little Callum defied all odds and continued to grow and progression despite undergoing numerous blood transfusions, hernia surgery and eye surgery to prevent blindness.

After 101 days in both the Royal’s neonatal unit and Craigavon, Callum was finally discharged, weighing just 4lb 7oz.

It was a proud moment for not only his parents but also friends and family of the couple, who had only seen photographs of little Callum due to the strict visiting regulations of the hospitals imposed for infection control.

During their time in neonatal care, the couple met the TinyLife Family Support Officers who provided them with much needed practical and emotional support and advice.

Each year, the Duff family participate in TinyLife events to help to raise vital funds for the charity. Just last week they took part in their biggest challenge to date, the TinyLife abseil, 120ft down the Europa hotel, Belfast.

Nicola said: “It was scary. It was the first time I’ve ever abseiled. So far we’ve raised £621 for TinyLife.

“We’ve also taken part in the Slieve Donard trek, bag packing in a supermarket and Callum’s photo is in the Tinylife Calendar.

“We’ve shown him his photo in the calendar - he knows it’s him, but he’s too young to understand anything else about it.”