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Braving 18 deaths, 'miracle' boy celebrates first b'day

Last updated on: August 13, 2009 15:07 IST
A baby boy has defied all odds after he died 18 times and lived to celebrate his first birthday. Baby Warwick had been born with extreme complications, and his parents Leigh Dumighan, 36, and David Newcombe were told that he would have an appalling life ahead of him if he survived.

His parents were also warned that if Warwick pulled through he would still be severely disabled, not be able to see, hear, move around, or even know who they were.

The Coventry couple were forced to make the hardest decision of their lives, choosing to take him out of his incubator, withdraw his treatment and allow him to die with dignity in their arms.

They stayed with him in a private hospital room for eight days, giving him the cuddles they had been unable to and waiting for him to pass away.

But Warwick fought to survive and, despite ceasing to breathe 18 times, he lived to celebrate his first birthday, which his parents thought they would never see.

While little Warwick has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, he is neither blind, deaf and has escaped other problems predicted for him.

"When we took the decision to let him pass away, it was the hardest thing we have ever had to do," quoted Leigh as saying.

"The prognosis was highly likely that he would be deaf, blind, bedridden and quadriplegic - the quality of life he would have had would have just been unbearable. That's why we decided to take him off treatment, I knew he'd had enough. We wanted to give him all the cuddles and kisses every baby needs and deserves without all the wires and pain," Leigh said.

"The hospital gave us a private room to say goodbye in and told us to get him baptised as quickly as possible. He was on a do not resuscitate order but he seemed to start himself back up. Warwick brought himself back to life, they didn't even expect him to last one night - he had no drugs or treatment, nothing. What happened to Warwick is a pure miracle, it's as simple as that," she said.

Doctors allowed Leigh and David to take tiny Warwick home to their house in Coventry when he weighed just 1.4kg on September 5.

And three months later he was given the all clear by medics, who said he was not going to die.

"We went to hospital on October 6 and saw a heart specialist and brain specialist," Leigh, who is now involved with baby charity Bliss, said.

"That's when we had the amazing news that the heart infection had completely cleared up and that he was going to survive. Now when people see him who don't know he has the palsy they have no idea there is anything wrong with him at all."

"When he gets older I know he will be able to crawl and talk and the fact he is celebrating his birthday is amazing when you think about what has happened to him. A year ago we made the right decision - I know that because he survived. He is not meant to be here, but he is and I think it is a miracle," she said.

"I hope his story just gives hope to other mums of premature babies," she added.

Source: ANI