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Miracle baby born just 1lbs 12oz now thriving – 'we're just happy to have her home' says mum

Gary Marshall and Marie Spooner with five-year-old Karl and premature baby Alison

A MIRACLE baby born almost four months premature is thriving after being home for almost three weeks.
Alison, born to partners Marie Spooner and Gary Marshall of Barnard Castle in November, weighed only 1lbs 12oz at birth and had to undergo heart operations and laser eye surgery in the first four months of her life.
Although still on oxygen 24 hours a day and having to take four different medicines, her parents say she is doing extremely well at home.
Mr Marshall said: “I am over the moon, it’s the best birthday, Christmas present whatever.”
Although she is now six months old, and two months have past since her due date on February 12, at 7lbs 8oz she weighs little more than the average newborn.
This is because the premature birth hindered Alison’s natural development and has left her with chronic lung issues as well as an oxygen dependant metabolic bone disease, Ms Spooner said.
“She is on phosphate for her bones,” said Ms Spooner. “The level of phosphate is improving, but not as much as it should.
“We don’t know how long she will be on oxygen – it could be as long as a year.”
Nevertheless, progress is such that her visits to hospital for blood tests have been cut from weekly to monthly.
Ms Spooner, who has completed child-care courses, takes Alison’s problems in her stride but it is a constant worry for her father.
“I’m getting help because I am scared of holding her. You have to be very careful and hold her in special ways,” Mr Marshall said.
Older brother Karl, 5, is thrilled with the new arrival: “I like it, she screams the whole house down.”
Each little achievement has been welcomed by the young family and they note that while she has not learned to smile yet, Alison laughs heartily, tries to sit up on her own and babbles away with baby talk.
“We’re just happy to have her home,” said Ms Spooner.