A MIRACLE baby has battled against the odds to survive a serious illness he contracted just four days after being born prematurely.
Tiny fighter Crosby Drummond came into the world two months early weighing just 3lb 10oz to the utter joy of his parents Andrew and Jill Drummond.
However, their happiness turned to horror four days later when medics phoned to tell them their beautiful baby was “seriously ill”.
He had a condition called Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC) – which mostly affects premature babies and causes tissues in the intestine to become inflamed and die, often resulting in a very dangerous infection.
But little Crosby proved to be a battler and fought through operations, procedures and an episode of seizures, to be allowed home earlier this month at the age of six months.
His proud dad Andrew, 34, of Ellison Street, off Elwick Road, Hartlepool, said: “When Crosby is well he seems like any other happy, smiling little baby.
“He does not know what he has been through and we feed off that, he has developed an unbelievably happy character.
“We are grateful that Crosby won’t remember the trauma that he has been through, and that gives us great hope for the future.”
The worry for the Drummonds started when Jill, 33, who works as a manager at a dental practice, went into labour with Crosby at 26 weeks but medics successfully stalled the birth with a cervical stitch.
Despite that he was born eight-weeks premature on December 27, last year, weighing 3lb 10oz.
It was four days later that doctors diagnosed him with NEC which inflamed and infected his bowel and led to an infection in his blood.
He was transferred from the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and treated with a number of different antibiotics.
The illness had damaged parts of Crosby’s bowel and he needed an operation to remove three sections of the small intestine, which was carried out at the start of February.
But Crosby developed problems with the joins soon after the operation.
He had to go under the surgeon’s knife for an ileostomy, to create a stoma bag for waste, in order to allow the bowel to heal and that was in place for ten weeks.
The youngster then appeared to improve and started feeding again.
But their excitement was short-lived as Crosby started to suffer from seizures and an MRI scan showed changes to the white matter in his brain – which fortunately he has recovered from.
The family went home for a couple of weeks in late April but after finding blood in Crosby’s nappy he was taken back to the RVI for a further eight weeks while he was fed intravenously.
An allergy to cow’s milk further complicated his recovery.
He steadily improved and returned home at the start of July and appears to be doing fine.
Andrew, a self-employed training consultant whose brother Stuart is Mayor of Hartlepool, added: “It has been a long and frustrating time but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are hoping for a full recovery.
“We have had some really stressful days but we had to be strong to support our baby.
“The hardest part was the feeling of being helpless.
“We made a conscious effort to learn about the condition and be as informed as possible and that helped.
“In spite of everything, we consider ourselves lucky because there were some families that are still in hospital with their children and some that sadly don’t leave with their babies.”
Crosby – who has put on more than a pound in weight since returning home – should catch up to the weight of a healthy baby within six months.
Andrew, who married Jill in May last year, said: “Just when we thought he was making progress something else seemed to come along and knock him back but we seem to have the feeding cracked and he is now starting on solids.
“We have a strong family around us and we would not have been able to cope as well, without their incredible support. Something like this would test any relationship, but myself and Jill have been like a rock for each other.”
l Mail view: Page 8