Burnley's tiny 'miracle' baby Theo who arrived 12 weeks early beats Covid-19
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Little battler Theo Stobbs tested positive for the virus after his mum, Kirsty Anderson, caught it even though they had been shielding meticulously since he was born.
"I was absolutely devastated," said Kirsty. "Because he arrived so early Theo is classed as clinically vulnerable so we had been so careful in keeping him safe."
Theo was born on April 20th last year when Kirsty started experiencing contractions when she was only six months pregnant. After Kirsty's waters broke she was given two steroid injections to speed up the developmemt of her baby's lungs.
After Kirsty went into labour tiny Theo was born within 10 minutes and rushed straight to the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit ( NICU) at Burnley General Hospital.
Kirsty said: "I heard him cry and was able to give him a quick kiss before they rushed him away.
"It all happened so quickly and was very surreal at the time."
And although he was placed in an incubator Theo did not need a ventilator and was instead placed on a CPAP machine which uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open.
After that Theo spent the first nine weeks of his life there with only one visitor at a time allowed due to covid restrictions. So Kirsty and her partner, Leon Stobbs, took it in turns to be with their new baby son.
Kirsty (34) said: "It was so awful having to leave the hospital without my baby but I knew he was in the best place where they could take care of him.
"People kept asking when Theo was coming home but it was a case of taking each day as it came for him."
Theo was given regular steroid injections to help his lungs develop along with three blood transfusions to help raise his oxygen levels. Kirsty spent hours at the hospital expressing breast milk for Theo to help build him up.
She said: "Everything was in lockdown but I was oblivious to it all really."
When Theo was finally allowed home it was the first time his big brother, Arlo, who will be two next month, got to meet him and the duo are now inseparable.
Because he was born so early Theo has chronic lung disease but he is a happy and active six-month-old, much to the relief and delight of Kirsty, who works for an energy company, and self employed plumber and gas engineer Leon.
Kirsty said: "Theo will remain under the care of NICU until he is two and we can call on them anytime if he has any problems.
"He has regular checks and so far everything is fine and he is developing in line with how a child of his age should be.
"Theo is happy, healthy and he is here and that's all we can wish for."