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17 / 06 / 2011 - `Miracle baby` defies the odds
A Lurgan baby has defied the odds to survive being born just 25 weeks into his mum's pregnancy - tiny enough for his dad's wedding ring to still fit around his leg six weeks later.
Little Callum Duff weighed just 14oz when he was born at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.
"He is just a miracle, he really is," his mum Nicola told UTV. "He's our life completely."
Callum's birth date should have been 29 March, but the tiny baby came into the world over three months early - on 18 December last year.
His mum, who is a maternity support worker, was transferred to the Royal after being diagnosed at Craigavon Area Hospital with both pre-eclampsia and swine flu.
She and her husband were told that the baby had to be delivered and that if he weighed less than 400g, it would be unlikely he would survive.
Callum weighed just 398g but, because he cried twice when he was born, doctors worked tirelessly to save his life.
It was a week later before his parents were able to touch him for the first time and another five weeks before they could hold him - a moment they will never forget.
Callum fought off eleven infections, survived laser eye surgery and two hernia operations before he was transferred on 10 February to Craigavon Area Hospital, where he was able to have his first bottle feed.
Then on 29 March, his due date, his emotional parents were finally able to bring their son home to Lurgan - weighing just 4lb 7oz.
"He was just supposed to be here - he was just supposed to be with us," Nicola added.
Now at nearly six months old, Callum is developing well and weighs 8lb 6oz. The only side-effects of his very early birth may be that he has to wear glasses when he gets older.
An actual-size photograph of Callum, superimposed onto his father's hand, is set to appear in a calendar and a book called Tiny Tales of Hope - which will be published in November to raise awareness about premature babies and their amazing fight for life.