Little Elliott Higgins spent the first three months of his life battling for survival.
Weighing just one pound and 14 ounces, the tot was born at 25 weeks at Leeds General Infirmary.
He spent his first month in intensive care, with his doting parents Bobby and Natalie at his bedside.
And now the family, who live in East Bierley, are celebrating the healthy youngster’s first birthday at home and have set their sights on fundraising for the vital neonatal services provided by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the charity Bliss.
After being given just a 40 per cent chance of survival when his mum went into labour at 24 weeks, Elliott was born a week later, on January 15, with a bleed on his brain that could have left him paralysed on his left side.
He spent his first three months at LGI and St James’s Hospital suffering with chronic lung disease, visual impairment and metabolic bone disease. But now he is fully mobile and marking his birthday - loud and proud.
Natalie said: “I struggled really badly at first when it happened. I didn’t see how I would cope going to hospital every single day – you can’t stay there as a mum when your baby’s on oxygen.
“The nurses don’t just care for your baby but they also look after the parents who are sat there day after day.”
The couple’s quest for a baby started nine years ago but it was only following IVF treatment that Elliott was conceived. He now weighs over 20lbs.
Natalie and Bobby are now desperate to raise money for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s neonatal service and premature charity Bliss, for whom Natalie now volunteers.
“He’s not a quiet one, he’s very boisterous, and he’s very much a chunky little boy,” Natalie said.
Bobby is set to run the London Marathon and an 80s fundraising night has been organised at The Old Barn at Esholt, Shipley, on March 21.
For more information about the family’s fundraising, visit uk.virginmoney-giving.com and search Bobby Higgins.