CELEBRATING his first birthday today, Joeseph Flint looks like any ordinary baby.
But the toddler was given only a 40 per cent chance of reaching this milestone when he was born at 24 weeks.
Weighing only 1lb 5oz (608g), Joeseph spent his first 14 weeks in hospital.
But a year on from his premature birth, Joeseph will be the centre of attention at a birthday party at his house, in Franklin Road, Gosport, surrounded by his three sisters Amee, five, Charleigh, four and Kaytie, three.
His mum Stevie said it was a milestone they had been looking forward to.
‘We have been excited for this day,’ she said.
‘All his sisters kept going on about how it is his first birthday and they couldn’t wait.
‘Everyone has been really excited for it.
‘We are holding a small party for him with lots of food, cake and decorations.’
To celebrate his birthday, Joeseph took part in a ‘cake smash’ photoshoot at Lemon Sky Photography, in Portsmouth.
It involves pictures being taken while children tuck into a big birthday cake.
Stevie added: ‘He loved the cake smash. It was something special for his birthday.’
Despite being premature, Joeseph is developing normally and is a healthy size and weight.
Over the next six months, the family have more hospital appointments as Joeseph is prone to colds and bronchitis.
Stevie, 26, said: ‘Joeseph has been growing up well and the year has gone so quickly.
‘No-one can believe he is turning one today.
‘A year ago, I went to the hospital with what I thought was Braxton Hicks [contractions during pregnancy].
‘But it turned out I was in labour. The doctors managed to stop it but further complications with infections meant he had to be born right away.
‘He spent five weeks on the ventilator and had a hole in his heart, chronic lung disease and reflux from a milk allergy. Rather than just being sick, he would stop breathing.’
After 14 weeks, Joeseph was allowed home but two weeks later, he stopped breathing from the reflux and Stevie had to do CPR while husband Dave called an ambulance.
He was taken to hospital but was allowed to go back home shortly after.
Stevie added: ‘It is great to be celebrating his first birthday after the year we’ve had.’