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Baby Thomas Owen weighs just 1lb 4ozs but he’s our shining light, say parents who lost their jobs and home

Getting our little fighter Thomas back home is the Christmas gift we are both dreaming of'

By Donna Deeney

He might be tiny, but Thomas Owen Boyle - born three months early and weighing in at just over one pound - has already shown he is a little fighter.

Complications during pregnancy meant that Thomas Owen's mum, Stacey Thompson, had to undergo a Caesarean section at 28 weeks to give him the best chance of survival.

This was carried on October 28, a staggering three months away from Stacey's due date of January 28.

Stacey and father Terry Boyle, have had a tough time recently but agree that Thomas Owen is their beacon of hope.

Terry told the Belfast Telegraph, getting Thomas Owen back home to Londonderry is the Christmas present both he and Stacey are dreaming of.

He said: "When Stacey was around 22 weeks pregnant, a scan showed that her placenta wasn't doing its job right.

"The hospital kept a close eye on things - but when Stacey was 28 weeks things got worse and the doctors said Thomas Owen needed to be delivered.

"Stacey had been moved to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and that's where Thomas Owen was born, weighing 610 grammes, which is around 1lb 4ozs.

"He was so tiny, he was even small for a 28-week baby, in fact, they said he looked as if he was a 26-week baby but despite his size he was a wee fighter."

Thomas Owen arrival came just as the couple found out their place of work - a branch of Frankie and Benny's in the Waterside - was closing and they were made redundant.

Terry continued: "It has been a tough time for us. We both lost our jobs and had to give up our home as a result of that but we have amazing family and friends who are supporting us, especially Caldin Campbell, who organised a fundraising event to help us cover the cost of the daily journey to Belfast to see Thomas Owen.

"We see him every day and he is our shining light, he is a real wee character with a big personality.

"He doesn't like it when the nurses have to work with him and he isn't afraid to let them know it either. He is just an incredible wee boy and the one time we got to cuddle him, three weeks ago, was the most amazing thing.

"Thomas Owen is doing so well considering everything, he is such a fighter.

"He took a bleed in his lungs which scared us but he came through that and the doctors at the Royal are now considering transferring him from Belfast to Altnagelvin Hospital.

"Having him a 10-minute walk away from us, instead of a two-hour drive, would be the best Christmas present we could get right now."

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