Clitheroe 'miracle' baby Elsie defies odds and celebrates first birthday
She was born weighing just 1lb 10oz; smaller than her mother’s palm.
Little Elsie Parkinson was not expected to make it to even her due date with doctors telling her Clitheroe parents - Kenya Jade Latimer and Ashley Parkinson - to be prepared for the worst.
But the little fighter defied all the odds and celebrated her first birthday last week.
Kenya endured every new mum’s worst nightmare after going into premature labour at just 25 weeks on April 3rd last year.
The terrified 22-year-old was rushed to Burnley General Hospital by Ashley when she began experiencing labour pains almost four months before her due date.
After hours in labour, Elsie made her early entrance weighing less than a bag of sugar. But 12 months later, she is enjoying life like any other baby and thriving.
Having celebrated her first milestone in style with her family at the Cheshire Oaks, the little bundle of joy is quite a character now. "Elsie is thriving. She is now able to sit up alone, stand with support and is such a cheeky little girl she may be small, but has the biggest personality," explained Kenya.
"She has the whole family in stitches with her amazing giggles. Although she is partially sighted in her right eye, there are no other concerns we have that we know of. She has been off her oxygen since November and is living life to the maximum.
"She attends nursery one day a week while I have dropped to working part time. She loves all her family and our pet Staffordshire bull terrier Xena. She always shouts the dog and hums similar to whistling for the dog and then strokes her and plays with her."
Kenya, a former pupil of Sabden Primary School, recalled the memorable moment she first saw her baby daughter. “She was so tiny. It was surreal and I was in shock. Everything happened so fast. One minute she was delivered, the next she was taken away from us to the neo-natal intensive care unit and placed on a ventilator.”
"We were not allowed to hold her because she was so fragile. Her skin was so delicate. It was heartbreaking for us to see our daughter so poorly connected to several tubes to help her survive. You don’t know what to do or think when something like this happens – you just have to deal with it.”
Kenya added: "Elsie has come so so far I honestly couldn't be prouder. This time last year our world was horrendous completely touch and go. But to walk into Elsie's bedroom in the morning it makes all the pain go away just to see her smiling and blowing raspberries. She is our universe."