A BABY born at just 1lb 3oz wore her dad’s wedding ring as a bracelet – but now aged six can slip it on her finger.
Little Poppy Cooke arrived 19 weeks early – at just 25 weeks in November 2014 – and had to spend 107 days in three hospitals before she could come home to parents Lucy Cooke, 33, and Matt Cooke, 32, a carpenter.
Despite battling a cyst on her brain, a hole in her heart, five blood transfusions, lung disease and numerous setbacks, Poppy has now turned six and she is thriving.
Where her dad’s ring once dwarfed her tiny wrist, Poppy can now slip the ring onto her finger.
Mum Lucy, a payroll assistant at a charity, from Worthing, West Sussex, said: “Poppy was so tiny when we she was born.
“We could hardly touch her in case we broke her skin as it was paper thin.
“Seeing my husband’s ring on her wrist was crazy. It showed just how little she was.
“Now she can put it on her finger and thumb.
“She’s just incredible and amazes me every day.”
Lucy was taken into Worthing Hospital, West Sussex, at 25 weeks pregnant when her high blood pressure went through the roof, and she started getting pains in her stomach.
She was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia – a condition that causes high blood pressure during pregnancy – and HELLP syndrome – a rare liver and blood clotting disorder.
“I was told that my baby would be coming on the weekend,” Lucy said.
“I had no idea it would happen so fast – we hadn’t even decided on a name as we’d only just found out the gender.”
Lucy was taken to Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton, Hampshire, to give birth as her local hospital was not equipped to look after such a premature baby.
On November 22, 2014, Lucy had an emergency c-section to deliver her little one and hardly saw her before she was whisked away to the NICU.
“I didn’t get to see Poppy for 10 hours,” Lucy said.
“She was all hooked up to loads of wires and so tiny.
“We didn’t even get to cuddle her until she was 10 days old as her skin was too fragile.
“We couldn’t stroke her in case that broke her skin.”
FABULOUS BINGO: GET A £5 FREE BONUS WITH NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED
Poppy was born with a hole in her heart and suffered a cyst on her brain at two weeks old.
She was in hospital for three weeks before she was transferred to Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, East Sussex, so she could be closer to home.
She had five blood transfusions along the way and was then taken to Worthing Hospital, West Sussex, to gain strength before she could come home.
After 107 days in the hospitals, Poppy came home on 7th March 2015 – five days after her original due date.
Poppy has gone from strength to strength ever since and reaching milestones just like any other girl her age.
“She is a fountain of knowledge,” Lucy said.
“She’s so good at maths.
“It feels out of this world for us that she is doing so well.
“She’s very happy and jokey and loves playing with her Barbies.
“She is a dream.”
Poppy said: “I can’t believe that I was so small as a baby and now I am so tall.”
Meanwhile, the UK’s tiniest baby who weighed the same as 12oz Coke can and had hands smaller than 1p coins back home after life-saving operations.
And a tiny 1lb 5oz baby who was born the size of a SYRINGE and nearly died five times from meningitis defies odds to survive.