IT’S A miracle milestone that little Faith’s family is only too happy to celebrate.
Despite being born three months early and weighing only 1lb 2oz, today Faith Hunt Boyle is a year old.
It was a rocky start for the tiny tot who stopped growing in her mother Jorden Hunt’s womb when she was only 18 weeks old.
Miss Hunt, of Wymering Road, North End, said: ‘I went for my 12-week scan and everything was fine.
‘But when I went for my 20-week scan, they noticed Faith wasn’t growing properly.’
Tests found Miss Hunt’s placenta had stopped working, and Faith had been missing out on vital nutrients.
‘It was hard news to hear,’ said Miss Hunt.
‘I was depressed and heartbroken, and wasn’t sure if she would make it.
‘She was also being starved of oxygen, and specialists were concerned about Faith’s quality of life.
‘I was offered a late termination – but for me that wasn’t an option.’
After speaking to her partner Dex Boyle, 24, a bricklayer, the pair decided they wanted to bring Faith into the world.
And this time a year ago, Faith was born via a caesarean section at only 28 weeks old.
She stayed in the neo-natal intensive care unit in Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham for just under 12 weeks.
Faith came home on May 2, weighing only 4lb 2oz – still four days ahead of her original due date of May 6.
Now the tot weighs 14lb 13oz.
And despite warnings that Faith may have hearing difficulties and development problems, she has been hitting all her key targets.
Miss Hunt, who works for a letting agency, said: ‘Apart from still being quite small, and stubborn at times, she has been doing everything else normally.
‘I trusted my motherly instinct, and I’m so glad I had her.
‘Someone else who doesn’t have the support I do may have decided not to have their baby.
‘But I’m so glad I trusted my instinct.’
Faith had a family party on Saturday, and will be visiting Brighton’s sea life centre.
Mr Boyle said: ‘It’s such a big milestone.
‘We’re much more relaxed now she’s bigger and older.
‘It’s amazing that she’s here, and such an achievement.
‘I’m so proud to be her father – it’s the best thing that’s happened.’
The consultant who cared for premature baby Faith Hunt Boyle said he was humbled to know the family.
Dr Mark Ashton is a consultant neonatologist at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham. He works in the neonatal intensive care unit, and cared for Faith.
He said: ‘It’s very humbling when you see families like Faith’s, and it was a privilege to look after them.
‘For being born at 28 weeks, Faith is the smallest baby of that age I have seen.
‘She is small, but very feisty and has made great progress.’