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Just 23 weeks into her pregnancy, Leah Rogers started bleeding and being sick – which she knew wasn’t right. After visiting her local hospital, the 23-year-old found she was an alarming 10cm dilated.
Leah gave birth to her son, Jase-James McCready Rogers in Blackpool Victoria Hospital on January 5, 2020. He weighed only 1.5lbs at birth and, to his mum’s horror, he took 15 minutes to take his first breath.
“I was a bit out of it, but it was a very scary time,” Leah told LancsLive. “There was a room just full of doctors and nurses and I was very young at the time. I was just waiting to hear the worst news.”
Not only was Jase-James born prematurely, but as a result, he was born with two brain bleeds and a hole in his heart – he was also only given a five per cent chance of survival. But, miraculously, brave little Jase is now celebrating his third birthday and getting ready to start nursery.
Back in 2020, doctors were worried he wouldn’t make it through his first night.
Leah said: “He had two brain bleeds, a three and a four, which are the worst. That was a huge worry, I was just like, what if they don’t stop? I went to every scan and they tell you exactly where the bleed is, they’re really clever, but you just think, what happens now?”
On the night of his birth, he was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where he spent 46 days on life support. He had eight blood transfusions and needed to be kept on oxygen to help him breathe.
Carer Leah said it took her around an hour after the birth, to understand what was going on and credits her mum for Jase-James having survived the ordeal. She added: “I don’t think Jase would have made if my mum wasn’t there.
“She was telling them that he needed saving. I did have a lot of family support actually. My sister looked after my dog and brought meals for us in Preston and did our shopping.”
Leah also remembers a stark moment she had with her newborn son, she told LancsLive: “When they first took him off support and cleaned him up – he looked exactly like my dad. He had passed away on 23 July 2011, but when they took the stuff off his face, it was crazy how much he looked like an old man.
“My mum was there and said he looked like my dad.” It was only in May 2020, five months after being born, that Jase-James was allowed to return home, living with his mum and dad, William McCready, 21.
Leah of Broughton Avenue, Blackpool continued: “Those five months felt like a lifetime. Even when we got home though, it still wasn’t a relaxed setting. We had to give him oxygen and watch the machines, it was like being in a hospital and we just stayed up all night.
“It was a big relief when he was taken off the oxygen. We had to wean him gradually off the oxygen and now he’s got chronic lung disease, which he might have for the rest of his life.
“It might turn into asthma and cause him trouble if he exercises or smokes later in life, or it might not trouble him at all, we’ll have to see – but now, he’s thriving.”
Leah says her son now, “won’t stop talking” but, until recently, he had experienced delayed speech and could only say “mum” and “dad”. As a result, he is awaiting tests to see if he has autism.
Leah said: “It’s just the things he does, I think you just know don’t you? He gets over-stimulated and screams in excitement. He’s a miracle though and is so tall for his age!”
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