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He weighed so little; just 630g – Spain

Twelve years ago, after her first child was born, this little boy’s mother had a lot of milk. She tells that if she had known about milk banks at the time, she would have donated her extra milk. As the mother of three boys, she knows a lot about babies. Her first was born at 37 weeks but the next two, including her latest were premature with this youngest being born at just 27 weeks. Each time she had pre-eclampsia which is a very serious complication of pregnancy affecting both the mother and her unborn child. 

Before her youngest little boy was born she became very unwell, unable even to open her eyes. His birth was induced and once born he spent the next 5 months in hospital. He was intubated several times, received 10 blood transfusions and experienced a respiratory arrest. He started on donor milk after around 3 weeks and in total he received it for 90 days. Throughout this time, he was able to avoid the added complications of developing necrotising enterocolitis even though, as this mother says, she ‘had almost no milk’. Eventually he was able to go home just three days after being taken off oxygen although the breathing equipment went home with them ‘just in case’.

Happily, he survived his very difficult start with virtually no after-effects. His mother describes this as a miracle adding ‘He is a survivor, for sure. But if he hadn’t been given breast milk, I’m sure everything would have been very different’.

After their experience the parents of this little boy wanted to help other parents and families at the Hospital General de Catalunya. They established their association, Petitsgransherois (Little Big Heroes), to be able to share practical and emotional experiences of premature children including how to navigate the complex official paperwork that can accompany having a premature infant.

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