Doctors saved battling baby Layla Henderson with cling film after she was born with organs outside her body. The infant was then struck down with pneumonia and a rare heart infection which left her at severe risk of a stroke. But despite all her troubles, Layla has fought it all off and now learned to smile.
Her beaming face has helped her parents Zoe Sweeney and James Henderson get through their ordeal.
Now the couple are overjoyed at finally having Layla home, after five months in and out of hospitals across the country.
Zoe said: “It’s magical being at home with her.
“Looking back, I can’t believe we got through it all. She’s been through a hell of a lot and it felt like it was never going to end.
“Every day was a constant worry about what was going to happen next but just seeing her smile helped us get through.
“The first time she was just over a month old. It was a heart-warming moment and the cutest smile I’ve ever seen. “She was coping, so we felt we should do her proud and be able to cope with it, too.”
Layla was treated in four different hospitals and spent her first six days with her intestines suspended in a bag above her after a rare form of hernia meant her bowel grew outside her body.
She has endured countless surgeries, tests and scans.
And twice she had to be rushed 200 miles to Glasgow to prevent her suffering a stroke.
Layla still has a dangerous blood clot in her heart and her parents have to inject her with blood thinning drugs twice a day.
But as she cradles her miracle daughter, Zoe is relieved that the worst is now over after tests revealed the clot had reduced in size.
Layla's mum, Nurse Zoe and mechanic Dad James, 26, spent all that time mostly at their daughter’s side as she recovered.
Layla was finally allowed home on September 14 and is now soaking up all the attention.
Zoe said: “It’s great being able to have a cuddle in the morning without having to walk through the hospital to see her. Hopefully this time we won’t be going back.
“She’s definitely a fighter. She is a very content, happy baby considering everything that she has gone through and it is very easy to make her smile.”
The family are now holding fundraising events in aid of the Ronald McDonald House charity, who let them be close to their daughter during her nine weeks in Glasgow.
Zoe said: “It took away a lot of heartache and stress and we made lifelong friends there.”