Look at him now! – Sunderland’s miracle baby celebrates first birthday

Premature baby Layton Gray celebrates his first birthday with sister Alisha
Premature baby Layton Gray celebrates his first birthday with sister Alisha

HE’S one miracle baby.

Layton Gray has marked his first birthday yesterday after he survived against all the odds when he was born three months early weighing just 1lb 5oz.

Layton Gray shortly after his birth.

Layton Gray shortly after his birth.

Layton’s expected due date had been August 27, but he arrived on May 10 after his mum Kirsty Pearce’s waters broke early.

He was five weeks old when he was finally released from hospital to go with his family to their Houghton home.

At the weekend, his loved ones gathered to mark his one-year milestone with a tea party, as the little battler, who they feared would never make it, starts to thrive.

His birth was made even more problematic after Kirsty, 26, suffered from a condition which had started to cause the placenta to die off.

It’s marvellous to see him now. After everything that’s gone on, he’s now one.

Mum Kirsty Pearce

She also suffered from an infection, with her case deemed so serious she had to be transferred from Sunderland Royal to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, which also had specialist cots available for her baby boy when he was delivered.

Once born, Layton was put in a special bag to protect him from germs and spent 24 days on a ventilator to keep him breathing.

He was given three lots of blood transfusions and antibiotics as part of efforts to keep him alive.

At one stage, doctors said they would not give his odds on his survival, but said he faced a 50/50 likelihood of lasting issues. The youngster suffers from shortsightedness and has partial hearing in his left ear, but is otherwise well, with doctors still carrying out regular checks to monitor his progress.

Premature baby Layton Gray celebrates his first birthday with sister Alisha

Premature baby Layton Gray celebrates his first birthday with sister Alisha

Care worker Kirsty, who is also mum to Alisha Michiels, five, and lives with Layton’s father Glenn Gray, 24, a machine operative for CBL in Southwick, said: “At one time they wouldn’t say if he was going to survive because of the infection and it could have caused him to be born stillborn.

“On top of everything, he was born breech. As soon as he was delivered, they whipped him away and put him in a bag and put in the ventilator and there was so much going on, I had all these nurses around me.

“It was ages before I got to see him and they were putting blood into him and intravenous antibiotics for 12 hours.

“I’ve still got his first baby grow, first dummy, they’re so tiny.

Premature baby Layton Gray celebrates his first birthday with sister Alisha

Premature baby Layton Gray celebrates his first birthday with sister Alisha

WIt’s marvellous to see him now.

“After everything that’s gone on, he’s now one.

“We couldn’t have done it without the support we have had from our family.”