A baby who doctors said would not survive has beaten the odds to enjoy first birthday celebrations with his family.
Connor Walkow weighed just 1lb 2oz when he unexpectedly came into the world on October 3 last year, but his birth was almost prevented after doctors at Milton Keynes Hospital said he was not viable for delivery.
After parents Rachel Crockett, 25, and Craig Walkow, 38, from Wing, demanded that he be given a chance, Connor was delivered at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Rachel said: “My waters broke in McDonald’s and at that point I was 23 weeks and two days pregnant, which is just short of the 24-week cut off point.
“It was a real panic for us, we didn’t know what to do at all. We were told that they couldn’t do anything for us but Craig and I pushed them to ring other hospitals.
“After talking it through with them I thought that was it, the baby we wanted we would not be able to get.
“We were so relieved when John Radcliffe Hospital said they would take us, though they could not promise they would be able to help.”
Due to the prematurity of his birth many of Connor’s organs had not developed and he picked up necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which was caused by a limited blood flow to his intestine.
The baby, who at this time was so small he was placed inside a freezer bag, then underwent the first of five operations after his bowel perforated.
Rachel said: “We were told to say goodbye to Connor and that we wouldn’t see him again.
“It was such relief when they told us he was OK.”
Connor’s miraculous recovery adds to a number of other cases in which premature babies aged under 24 weeks have survived, despite guidance by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine stating that it is “in the best interests of the baby, and standard practice, for resuscitation not to be carried out”.
Rachel has called on the government and NHS to rexamine procedures surrounding premature births.
She said: “I think the cut off point and abortion limit should be lowered, considering what happened with Connor. With him they said that as my waters had broken and he didn’t come out then he shouldn’t have had a heartbeat, but he did.
“We had an agreement that they would help if he showed signs of life, I wouldn’t have wanted them to try for too long if there was no heartbeat.
“Without the transfer to John Radcliffe, Connor would not be here right now, at that age I believe they should be helped.”