Life

Boy who weighed just 1lb 1oz at birth sets off for school

Now aged four, Ethan is starting school this month
Sam Russell (PA)

A BOY who weighed just 1lb 1oz (490g) at birth has defied the odds and is starting school this month. Ethan Bird, now four, was not expected to survive when he was born at 26 weeks and became life-threateningly ill due to lung disease of prematurity.

The tot, of Filby, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, needed an emergency transfer to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge for lifesaving treatment at nine months. Ethan has been readmitted to the specialist hospital numerous times.

Although his parents were warned he might not survive, he was eventually discharged on oxygen. His doctors thought he might never walk or talk, but he later took his first steps and began communicating with noises and gesture after the birth of his baby brother Jude, now 20 months.

His parents Sarah Bird (38) and her husband Scott (42) are proud and excited to see Ethan start the next chapter of his life.

Mrs Bird said: "Once we arrived at [Addenbrooke's] hospital, we were taken to the parents' room where they broke the devastating news that we might not be bringing our son home. But it was as if Ethan knew what they were telling us because suddenly he began fighting back."

Ethan is currently only on oxygen throughout the night.

Throughout his treatment, his family have been supported by The Sick Children's Trust charity.

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