Little Lewis Brown has his quick-thinking nana to thank after he beat the odds and survived being born 15 weeks premature.
Pregnant Nicole Gemmell thought she was suffering from nothing more serious than swollen feet when she was persuaded to go for a check-up by her mum Laura Adam.
The 24-year-old, from Head of Muir, Denny, had been preparing to go Christmas shopping last November before deciding to visit Bonnybridge Health Centre instead.
There was she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia - which had caused her baby to stop growing in the womb - and was rushed to Forth Valley Royal Hospital, before being later transferred to Glasgow.
Lewis was born at the city’s Princess Royal Maternity Hospital on November 8 weighing just 1lb 3oz.
Doctors warned Nicole (24), and her partner David Brown (25), that their first born had just a 50-50 chance
A normal 25-week baby would have a 75 per cent chance or survival, but because Lewis was born at 22 weeks he was only 50-50Nicole Gemmell
Following 24 days in an incubator and a gruelling series of operations, Lewis finally arrived at the family home last month and is now progressing well.
Now his parents have called for more people to donate blood to help other tots like theirs survive.
Lewis required 16 blood transfusions and spent 24 days in an incubator following his birth.
Although settling in well at home, he still requires a constant oxygen supply and faces another operation to remove a hernia.
David and Nicole have pledged to help other premature babies win their battle for survival.
“Receiving the blood he needed was crucial to Lewis’ survival,” said David, a scaffolder.
Nicole, who works at Bankview Care Home, said: “I thought I would be monitored for a few hours on the Thursday - but I ended up having him on the Saturday,” she said.
“We were in shock. I kept thinking the doctors would return and tell us everything was alright.
“He was born at 25 weeks but had stopped growing at 22 weeks. He should have been roughly about 1lb 12oz, but he was only 1lb 3oz - I had never heard of a baby being born that small.
“A normal 25-week baby would have a 75 per cent chance or survival, but because Lewis was born at 22 weeks he was only 50-50.”
The family have thanked the staff at the Princess Royal Maternity, Yorkhill and Forth Valley Royal hospitals where Lewis received treatment, as well as their friends and family, including grandparents Jackie and Jim Brown and Laura Adam, for their support.
They plan to fundraise to help the charities that supported them, including Ronald MacDonald House.