A baby born just seven inches long is winning his battle for life despite experts giving him a mere three per cent chance of survival.
Tiny Oliver-Cash Lowther-Ryan, born at 23 weeks in lockdown, has been dubbed ‘Rocky’ after surviving two operations, and will soon be ready to go home with his parents, according to The Sun.
The tot, believed to be one of the UK’s most prematurely born survivors, arrived weighing just 1lb 3oz on March 26, when he was barely the size of a TV remote.
Tiny Oliver-Cash Lowther-Ryan, pictured, born at 23 weeks in lockdown, has been dubbed ‘Rocky’ after surviving two operations, and is now ready to go home with his parents
Parents Ethan Ryan, 29, and partner Frances, 24, from Walderslade, Kent, were told three times to expect the worst by doctors but Oliver-Cash has continued to defy the odds.
The father told the newspaper: ‘We always knew it would be tricky when he arrived so early. But just after he was born he let out a little cry and the nurse said, ‘We’ve got a fighter on our hands’.’
The coronavirus pandemic, and the fact their baby was so delicate, meant the parents had to wait some nine weeks before they were allowed to hold their child, an ordeal they described as ‘torture’.
Oliver-Cash – named after the musician Johnny Cash – was born breech a week before the abortion limit of 24 weeks in the UK.
Still only three months old, he has endured surgery to remove an inch of his bowel and has fought off abdominal sepsis and a need for a third operation on a heart valve after it healed on its own.
Parents Ethan Ryan, pictured, and partner Frances, from Walderslade, Kent, were told three times to expect the worst by doctors but Oliver-Cash has continued to defy the odds
In a particularly difficult stage of his battle for survival, the baby was on three types of ventilator and even a cannula inserted into his forehead because his size meant there was no other room on his body.
During his recovery, strict Covid-19 rules at Medway Maritime Hospital meant the couple weren’t able to see Oliver-Cash together, but were instead restricted to just a few hours each at his bedside.
Frances, a coffee shop barista, said: ‘Knowing he was mine and we had got him to that stage with all the incredible doctors and nurses — it makes him a very real miracle to us.
‘It was beyond words, to finally be able to bond as mum and baby. The wave of love I felt was just incredible.’
Doctors have now said Oliver-Cash could be taken home on July 23, but only if his progress continues and further medical procedures take place.
Child, 12, becomes one of the youngest victims to die of coronavirus in England
A 12-year-old child is among the youngest people in Britain to die from coronavirus, after passing away in hospital earlier this week.
Sheffield Children’s Hospital confirmed that a child died on Monday after being admitted in a critical condition.
The hospital said that they had tested positive for Covid-19 but the cause of death had not been determined.
In a statement, the hospital said: ‘Sadly on Monday June 15, a child passed away at Sheffield Children’s having been brought in to the hospital in a critical condition.
‘Attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful.
‘The cause of death is not yet known. Tests have confirmed that the child had Covid-19, but it isn’t yet clear if it was a contributing factor.’
Sheffield Children’s Hospital confirmed a 12-year-old child died with Covid-19 on Monday
John Somers, chief executive of Sheffield Children’s said: ‘Our sincere condolences go to the family and we ask the media to respect their privacy at this difficult time.’
NHS England has announced that a 13-day-old baby thought to have no underlying health conditions has died with Covid-19.
The baby is believed to be the youngest victim of the disease in the UK, and their death was announced in Thursday’s coronavirus death toll in English hospitals.
The figures released on Thursday revealed that a further 62 Covid-19 patients had died in English hospitals, with the eldest aged 96.
Children seem to be much less likely to suffer the most severe effects of the disease, but 19 people under the age of 19 have died from the virus in hospitals in England.
In May, a six-week-old child with underlying health conditions died.
Previously, the youngest victim with no pre-existing health problems was thought to be Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, who died in March aged just 13.
Doctors have also been alarmed at a spike in cases of an illness resembling Kawasaki disease.
Symptoms include a sudden high temperature, rash, swollen hands and feet, dry and cracked lips and tongue and red, sore eyes.
A study led by Imperial College London and published earlier this month revealed the condition to be distinct from Kawasaki disease.
The researchers said they could not be certain the new illness is caused by Covid-19, but said 45 of the 58 children involved in the study had evidence of current or past coronavirus infection.
They added that the emergence of a new condition during a pandemic is ‘unlikely to be a coincidence’.
Britain today announced 173 more coronavirus deaths including a 12-year-old, as government scientists confirmed the outbreak is in retreat with the number of new cases shrinking by 4 per cent each day and the crucial R rate remaining below the dreaded level of one.
Number 10’s scientific advisory panel SAGE revealed the reproduction rate – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects – is still between 0.7 and 0.9, meaning the coronavirus is firmly in retreat after terrorizing Britain for months. It must stay below one or Britain will face another crisis.
Separate data released for the first time today also claimed the UK’s current growth rate – how the number of new daily cases is changing day-by-day – could be as low as minus 4 per cent. If the rate becomes greater than zero, the disease could once again spiral out of control.
Department of Health officials say the death toll now stands at 42,461. But the tally only includes lab-confirmed patients — unlike other damning figures that take into account all suspected deaths and show the actual number of victims has already topped 50,000.