When baby Jesse was born almost three months early it was an agonising case of deja vu for his mother Karen Patterson.

The tiny baby weighed just three pounds and was born at 29 weeks on January 21, 2023 - less than a year after his older brother Hunter.

His early arrival meant there was a gap of just 10 months between the two siblings.

Eastern Daily Press:

But Hunter himself was also a premature baby, meaning Miss Patterson and husband-to-be Lee Green had two "heart-wrenching" waits to finally bring their new children home.

The older brother was born on March 7, 2022, with Miss Patterson 28 weeks into her pregnancy and weighed just 1kg (2lb 3oz).

He was born with sepsis and a form of meningitis and did not go home until more than two months later.

Eastern Daily Press:

Combined, the two brothers spent almost 200 days in hospital after their births - Hunter went home after 70 days while this period for Jesse was almost two months longer at 123 days.

The younger sibling suffered a number of complications, required a stoma bag for a spell and needed an operation to repair a bowel blockage.

Miss Patterson, said: "Going to hospital pregnant but not leaving with your baby is truly heart-wrenching.

"The first time it happened we just both felt such a sense of panic - I never thought I would have a premature baby and certainly didn't think I would go on to have a second one.

"But I immediately knew what was happening the second time, was familiar with the surroundings and knew all the doctors and nurses at the hospital who were truly miracle workers."

Eastern Daily Press:

After Jesse's birth, 36-year-old Miss Patterson found herself balancing time between her two children - spending mornings with Hunter before returning to the hospital in the afternoon to be with her youngest.

It was not until May 24 that the couple could finally take Jesse home - exactly 20 days after he had an operation and just over a year after Hunter. 

Miss Patterson added: "My boys are fit, happy and healthy and they are our world - they make us proud every day."

Eastern Daily Press:


Eastern Daily Press:

Throughout her ordeals, Miss Patterson said one of the things that kept her going was running.

A member of Norwich Roadrunners, Miss Patterson has managed to keep up the hobby, which she has now had to work around her two sons' routines.

This weekend, she is running the Brighton Half Marathon to raise money for the neonatal intensive care unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

So far she has already raised more than £2,300 - but is determined to hit a £5,000 target she set for herself.

She added: "The doctors and nurses there are just something else - these miracle workers make life possible and they make our dreams come true."

To sponsor Miss Patterson, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/karen-patterson10