A MUM has said it’s a miracle her baby son is alive after having to bring him back to life three times following his premature birth.
Chloe Gibbs was unaware of the challenges that would face her and little Hunter when she went into an early labour back in March 2018.
The Hertfordshire mum was frantically rushed to University College London Hospitals (UCLH) when she was at just 24 + 3 weeks of her pregnancy.
And when baby Hunter was born he only weighed an astonishing 750 grams, smaller than a bag of sugar before doctors rushed him off to intensive care.
Chloe was only able to meet him in the neonatal intensive care unit after six hours but the problems did not stop there.
Hunter stayed in UCLH for one month before later being transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital and placed in induced paralysis.
Once arriving here, Hunter was taken for an operation where doctors helped pump fluids around his body as he couldn’t feed from his mouth.
As well as fighting infections, the tot was also subject to 15 blood transfusions and countless other tests before being transferred to Watford General Hospital.
Chloe’s mother, Michele De Groot, was by her daughter’s side throughout the birth and has remained there ever since.
Michele said: “I was there with 10 neonatal specialists in this small room, it was very scary. They timed everything so that they knew how long it took to get him from each area of the room.
“They were counting down from 15 seconds the minute he was born. They were holding him, then the door shut and that was it.”
Due to the nature of his birth, the family was told that Hunter could be blind and mentally disabled but he managed to survive against all odds.
At the point of discharge, he had a feeding intolerance, bone disease, retinopathy of prematurity and chronic lung disease.
And even at home, Hunter had to be placed on portable oxygen for six months, with mum Chloe had to perform CPR on her newborn three times to save his life during this time period.
One incident occurred when Chloe was driving to the supermarket and had to revive her son in the car park.
Hunter is now four-years-old and has since developed OCD and Autism traits which have been observed by both family and school teachers after a brief school assessment was completed.
After informing doctors of his behaviour, Hunter’s family were told that the NHS waiting list for an autism diagnosis was two years long.
This time frame does not include the six to eight months that it would take for the diagnosis to be registered and for Hunter to begin to receive additional help.
Michele said: “Me and my daughter are both doing a college course for autistic children because there is no help! As a parent you can get overwhelmed by it all and it is extremely frustrating.
All that the doctors do is show you a website that tells you what autism is but what they don’t understand is that there is no quick fix. People need help.”
In a bid to ensure that Hunter would receive the care he needs, Michele decided that the only way to do this swiftly would be to look at getting a private assessment done for Hunter.
“Once the assessment is done and we get the diagnosis, Hunter will be able to get all of the help he needs, like speech therapy. We just want him to have the most normal life possible,” she said.
Michele has decided to do a sponsored walk of Snowdonia in Wales on June 15 this year to raise £2,000 for the much needed assessment for Hunter and any additional costs that will likely occur throughout his life.
To donate to the family, visit the gofundme page here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/sy4t5b-help-for-hunter