Baby born 13 weeks premature is set to celebrate Christmas

‘He’s nothing short of a miracle’: Baby who doctors said would suffer brain damage after he was born 13 weeks early weighing just 1lb 8oz is healthy and set to celebrate his first Christmas

  • Lucy Knight’s boyfriend Dean Glover delivered baby Eli on their bathroom floor 
  • Eli had two brain bleeds, a heart murmur and a collapsed lung within two weeks
  • Were warned he would be brain damaged but Eli is set to live a healthy life 
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A couple are looking forward to celebrating their first Christmas with their ‘miracle’ baby who was born so small he fit in the palm of his mother’s hand.

Lucy Knight, 29, went into labour on July 12 – 13 weeks before her October 12 due date – with her boyfriend Dean Glover, 27, being forced to deliver their son Eli on their bathroom floor. 

Eli, who weighed just 1lbs 8oz (846g), nearly died several times after he suffered two brain bleeds, a heart murmur and a collapsed lung in the first two weeks of his life.

Despite pulling through, doctors warned Eli, of Ilminster, Somerset, would be permanently brain damaged and wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. 

But after undergoing two surgeries to drain fluid from his brain, Eli made a miraculous recovery, with medics believing the now five-month-old will live a normal, healthy life. 

Eli (pictured left as a newborn in hospital) weighed just 1lbs 8oz when he arrived 13 weeks early. After being told he may not make it, the now five-month-old (pictured right with his mother Lucy Knight at home in Somerset) is set to celebrate his first Christmas 

Ms Knight and Eli’s father Dean Glover (all pictured) call their son a ‘miracle’ and are looking forward to spending ‘the best Christmas ever’ together at home as a family 

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Mr Glover, who works in a supermarket, delivered Eli while being given instructions from doctors over the phone.


Around eight per cent of babies are born prematurely, which is considered to be when they are born before the 37th week of a pregnancy.

The standard expected length of a pregnancy is 40 weeks. 

The NHS considers babies to be ‘viable’ at 24 weeks or later into the pregnancy – this means it’s possible for them to survive being born from this point onwards.

Babies can still legally be aborted in the UK until the 24th week of pregnancy. 

Babies born very early will need intensive care in a specialist neonatal hospital unit.

They may have serious health problems – particularly affecting the lungs and brain – because they haven’t had time to develop properly in the womb.

Source: NHS 

Speaking of the birth, Ms Knight said: ‘I didn’t know I was in labour at first. 

‘I went to hospital the day before and had stomach pains but I thought I was having a stomach bug. But the following morning I went to the loo and felt his head move.

‘I was petrified. I kept saying it was too early, I couldn’t look, I thought he was going to be born dead. Remarkably though, he was born crying.’

Paramedics arrived shortly after and rushed Eli to hospital. Doctors quickly warned the new parents their son may not make it.

After defying the odds to survive, medics then discovered he was bleeding in two parts of the brain and would inevitably have severe damage. 

‘Eli was tiny, he could fit in your hand he was so small,’ Ms Knight, a full-time mother, said. ‘He didn’t look real.’

‘For the first two weeks of his life we thought he was going to die. There were four or five times where we thought he wasn’t going to make it.’

In an attempt to drain a build-up of fluid from his brain, Eli underwent two lumbar punctures, which involves inserting a hollow needle between the bones of the spinal cord to collect fluid. 

Eli’s sudden arrival meant he was born on his parent’s bathroom floor before being rushed to hospital where he was treated for two brain bleeds, a heart murmur and a collapsed lung (seen left). He was discharged 11 weeks later with no brain damage (pictured right recently at home)

Pictured in hospital, Ms Knight said there were several times where she thought Eli would die

Miraculously, doctors told Eli’s parents the procedures had left him with no apparent brain damage and, after 11 weeks in hospital, the youngster was finally able to go home in October.

‘He’s nothing short of a miracle,’ Ms Knight said. ‘Eli will be five months old this Christmas and it’s going to be magical to have him at home this year.’ 

Mr Glover added: ‘It means everything to us to have Eli home for Christmas. We weren’t sure if he was going to be here and it’ll be amazing that he’s here with his family and not in hospital.

‘It’s going to be the best Christmas ever. Christmas is always special, but this year will be even more so after what happened.’  

The couple are sharing their story to give hope to other parents in similar situations.  

‘Last Christmas it was just Dean and I, and now there’s three of us, it’s mad,’ Ms Knight said.

‘We said last New Year’s Eve “I wonder what we’ll be doing this time next year”, but we never imagined we’d have a baby just a few months later.’ 

Pictured left as a newborn with his mother in hospital and right with his parents at home recently, Eli surprised everyone when two surgeries left him without lasting brain damage

Speaking of her son’s miraculous recovery, Ms Knight said: ‘He’s nothing short of a miracle’

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