For one High Peak mum, this Christmas looks set to be extra special.
Rachel Clark is looking forward to a big family Christmas with her miracle baby Harri, who was born in July, just 23 weeks into her pregnancy.
Little Harri weighed just one pound three ounces when he was born at Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital but he has defied the odds to survive.
Rachel, 19, said: “I was in hospital and at 4am Harri just arrived in nine minutes.
“No-one was expecting it. I was really scared and then he was taken to Burnley because it was a more specialised hospital. I was only four hours into 23 weeks so I’d only just gone over that line. We’re not sure why he was so premature, it was just one of those things that happened.”
She added: “He has had 12 blood transfusions, platelet transfusions, three courses of steroids, blood sugar and pressure issues and more.
“His chances of survival were very slim.”
But Harri is a little fighter and after 81 days at Burnley Hospital and further time spent in Stepping Hill, he was discharged on Monday, just in time for Christmas.
“He is fine now,” Rachel said. “There are no signs of him being so premature. He’s just a normal little baby. He’s a bit naughty but you can’t shout at him because of everything he’s been through.
“I was really, really happy when they said he could come home.
“He has been through everything but is still so strong. He is a miracle.”
And Rachel, of New Mills, was keen to recognise those who have helped her throughout the ordeal.
“I lived at Burnley Hospital with him and everyone was amazing there,” she said. “They supported me so much as Harri’s dad lives in Wales and I was alone a lot. It was incredibly difficult.
“My family have done everything they can too.”
Harri faces a further operation in January, but for now, will be able to relax surrounded by his mum and family and enjoy his first ever Christmas.