Little Dylan Morrison can fit his mother’s engagement ring comfortably on his finger – but when he was born he was so tiny it could have slid over his wrist like a bracelet.
Even at two months old, the ring was bigger than the palm of his hand.
Now aged five, and after an incredible fight for life, Dylan has just started school and is like any other little boy who loves lorry spotting and playing football.
And as the youngster proudly holds the ring between his fingers, he can see for himself just how far he has come.
Dylan was just 1lb 14oz when he had to be delivered more than three months early after his mother Jenna Gordon developed pre-eclampsia.
It left her with dangerously high blood pressure and, unbeknown to her, was putting her and her unborn baby’s life at risk.
But, as a first-time mother, the 33-year-old, from Inverurie, said: “I just thought I had a cold. I was so unwell, I could hardly lift my head off the pillow, but I didn’t think anything of it.
“Then I went to the doctor and he sent me straight to the hospital that day.”
The sales assistant was immediately given steroid injections to boost her unborn baby’s lung function, and hours later Dylan was born at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital on August 15 2015.
He gave a “tiny squeak” when he was delivered, giving his mother and father, Derek Morrison, 32, hope that he was strong enough to survive.
Miss Gordon said: “Then they took him away and I didn’t see him for another two days because I was so ill.
“I’m quite a positive person and I just knew then (when he cried) that he was going to be fine, that he was going to get home.”
Dylan spent nine weeks battling for life in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
He still needed oxygen for several weeks and was so premature he did not open his eyes until he was 10 days old.
His parents had to wait seven days before they were able to hold more than his hand through the window of his glass incubator.
And it was two weeks before they got to see their son’s face for the first time without an oxygen mask.
Miss Gordon said: “When he was a bit stronger, they took his mask off when they were cleaning him and we got to see his face and he just looked like a little old person.
“But it was amazing. He was just so tiny. Now I can’t believe my baby is away to school.”
Early scans also detected Dylan had a heart murmur but, to his parents’ relief, as he grew, the defect corrected itself.
Proud Mr Morrison said: “To look at Dylan now you would never know that he was born so early.
“He is our little fighter.”
What is pre-eclampsia?
Dylan is now big brother to 15-month-old James, who was also delivered by emergency caesarean section when his mother developed pre-eclampsia again.
But this time she was monitored closely and was aware of the symptoms when she began to feel swelling, blurred vision and headaches. And with September being Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness Month, she hopes by sharing Dylan’s story it can give hope to other families with babies in their care.
Mild pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects up to 6% of pregnancies – severe cases develop in about 1-2% of pregnancies – usually during the second half of pregnancy soon after their baby is delivered.
Early signs include having high blood pressure (hypertension) and protein in your urine (proteinuria)
Although many cases are mild, the condition can lead to serious complications for mother and baby if it’s not monitored and treated.
The earlier pre-eclampsia is diagnosed and monitored, the better the outlook.
“Dylan had a long journey in neonatal but the staff got us through it and we will always be so grateful for them,” Miss Gordon said.
“After he was born, I didn’t get to see him for two days because I was so ill but they took photos for me to look at. They kept us all going. Now he’s the happiest little boy ever.”
Full details of the condition and what to look out for can be found at www.nhs.uk