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She's truly our little Star

PUBLISHED: 07:45 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:06 22 October 2010

Barrie Hayden and Ursula Turner give baby Star a kiss.

Barrie Hayden and Ursula Turner give baby Star a kiss.

They look like any other proud and happy parents heading home with their precious newborn.

But for Barrie Hayden and Ursula Turner, it was a special day they thought they would never see.

They look like any other proud and happy parents heading home with their precious newborn.

But for Barrie Hayden and Ursula Turner, it was a special day they thought they would never see.

Their tiny little girl - dubbed a "miracle baby" by nurses - barely tipped the scales at a fragile 1lb 4oz when she arrived in the world 13 weeks too early in April.

Doctors gave baby Star just a one in four chance of pulling through and carefully monitored her progress at the special care baby unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.

But yesterday Star lived up to her middle name of Hope to defy all odds and leave the hospital earlier than planned at a strong and healthy 31b 14oz.

Choking back tears of joy, Mr Hayden and Miss Turner could hardly believe they were finally taking their daughter home - before what should have been her due date on Monday.

Just weeks ago, a frighteningly small and motionless Star was covered in tubes and wires in her incubator and was far too delicate to be cuddled.

"I did not think I would see the day to be honest," said Mr Hayden, as Star stretched and wriggled in his arms.

"We were so excited when we knew she was going to come home soon, but when they said she could today, it was unbelievable."

The couple, who have been together 10 years and have a five-year-old daughter, Coral, had been for their daily visit from Wisbech on Tuesday when staff broke the unexpected news that Star was fit to go home.

After clocking up thousands of miles during weeks of nervous, tearful visits they are overjoyed to be able to love, cuddle and care for their baby like any other parents.

"The first three weeks was unbearable," said Miss Turner. "When I got to cuddle her for the first time, after five weeks, I was excited but nervous because she was still on oxygen.

"Then she had a bit of wind and went blue, and I panicked.

"I think the doctors were cautious with what they told us, but they were ever so helpful.

"She's made better progress, and quicker, than they thought, and we can't wait to take her home."

Doctors rushed Miss Turner in for an emergency caesarean on April 13 when a routine scan showed the baby was not doing well in the womb.

They gave Star a shot of insulin to kick-start her lungs then kept her on steady doses of antibiotics, oxygen and a few droplets of milk each day through a gastric tube.

She gradually began putting on weight and still needs special, fortified milk but has every chance of growing up without any connected health problems.

Janice Jarvis, a sister in the special care baby unit, said: "Star has made great progress really quickly and we're all very pleased she's going home.

"She's definitely a miracle baby."

As her little baby felt the sunshine on her face for the first time, Miss Turner said: "It feels so strange that this is the last time I'll be leaving here, but lovely that I'm carrying Star.

"Normally I'd be walking out with just my handbag and it was so difficult."


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