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Luka's story

PREMATURE BIRTH AND NEC

Baby Luka was born very prematurely at just 30 weeks. He contracted the serious bowel disease NEC. He survived after emergency surgery and is now a health one year old.

Kai: primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD)

Kai suffers from a serious lung disease called PCD. Children with this rare condition have a persistent cough from birth and face a lifetime of recurrent chest infections. They often develop hearing loss and eventually permanent lung damage.

Tom: cerebral palsy

Tom was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy before his first birthday and discovering that their baby son would face a lifetime of disability was heartbreaking for Maria and husband Terry

Jacob: premature birth

The determined cries of her one-year-old son mean the world to Rachel and her husband Carl, since little fighter Jacob was born at just 30 weeks after Rachel developed the serious pregnancy complication pre-eclampsia.

Eva: ataxia

Eva has problems with strength, balance and co-ordination, tires easily and suffers from a type of tremor that becomes more pronounced when she moves.

Emma: premature birth

After emergency tests in hospital, Inge was given the shocking news that she had a life-threatening pregnancy complication. Baby Emma was born 12 weeks early, weighing just 1lb 13oz and measuring less than 30cm long.

Robbie: cleft palate

Shortly after his birth, Robbie was diagnosed with a condition called Pierre Robin Sequence. He had difficulty feeding and breathing due to a cleft soft palate and a small, receding lower jaw.

Finley: craniosynostosis

Finley was born with Apert syndrome – a rare condition that causes a range of health problems including craniosynostosis where the plates of the skull fuse together too early, while the baby is still in the womb.

Sophie: epilepsy

Recalling the time when her daughter Sophie’s seizures first began, mum Anne says: “Sophie first noticed something unusual happening when she was cross country running aged 11.

Ioan: Tourette syndrome

Ioan is a bright boy who loves swimming, running and making people laugh. But he has also suffered from bullying, with older boys picking on him at school and imitating his tics which are a symptom of his Tourette syndrome.

Joshua: NEC

Joshua was born 15 weeks too early. He survived the birth, unlike his twin Harry who died at 20 hours old. But Joshua then became dangerously ill at just eight days old. Doctors thought it might be necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), but couldn’t be sure.

Alfie: cerebral palsy

Alfie is a lively nine-year-old who loves jokes and playing tricks on people. “He’s a cheeky boy who always wants to have fun,” says mum Samantha. But for Alfie, who has cerebral palsy, having fun is a daily struggle.

Caiden: fetal MRI

An ultrasound scan found some of Caiden's head measurements were larger than expected at around 20 weeks into the pregnancy. Fetal MRI confirmed a malformed vein deep within the brain – and as a result her pregnancy was monitored much more closely.

Samuel: premature birth

Jo was admitted to hospital for emergency surgery 29 weeks into her pregnancy and nobody knew what the outcome would be. Thankfully, she and husband are now the proud parents of Samuel, who survived being born at just 30 weeks.

Grace: Rett syndrome

After Grace was born she started reaching all the important milestones, but things began to change from nine months. Other babies started crawling, walking and talking, but Grace didn’t. She was showing the signs of Rett syndrome.

Sullivan: asthma

Sullivan’s asthma symptoms – wheezing, coughing, breathlessness and tightness in the chest – were detected by doctors around the age of one. Unfortunately a diagnosis is not usually possible until a child is school age.

Daisy: premature birth

Daisy, who was born 13 weeks early, is now at school and has recently started gymnastics - and has become a big sister to baby Poppy, who also arrived early, five weeks before her due date. But Daisy's earliest days were a roller coaster of ups and downs.