Vincent Presland weighed just 575 grams when he was born – one pound, four ounces on the old scale, or less than a tub of butter.
The first child of Kurri Kurri couple Grace Watt and Nick Presland, little Vincent arrived on December 13, four months before his due date.
Nine weeks on, Vincent weighs 1880 grams, and will remain in hospital for at least another six weeks.
Ms Watt was admitted to hospital with high blood pressure the week before Vincent’s birth, and on December 9 she was rushed to John Hunter Hospital as she was at a very high risk of having a stroke.
“It was a close call for both of us,” she said.
Four days later, Ms Watt’s blood pressure wouldn't settle, so she was rushed in for an emergency caesarean.
Tiny Vincent was put straight onto oxygen, and was ventilated a week later due to respiratory failure and a duct near his heart.
Last week he was taken off the CPAP machine and put onto high-flow oxygen.
“He is going really well but there’s still a long road ahead,” Ms Watt said.
Knowing the odds were stacked against their family and that Vincent could be taken away at any moment, Ms Watt and Mr Presland have spent just about every waking moment by their baby’s side at the John Hunter Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
The new parents are extremely thankful to the John Hunter Hospital staff for their compassion, care and expertise.
Mr Presland, a contract worker, has had to return to work, meaning he can only visit on weekends now.
The couple long for the day they can bring their little boy home – they are even excited for the sleepless nights and dirty nappies.
They have been overwhelmed by support from the local community since Vincent’s early arrival.
Recognising that caring for an extremely premature child will be costly, and that they had only just begun preparing their home for Vincent’s arrival, their friends set up an online GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $800.
McDonalds Kurri Kurri will hold a fundraiser on Wednesday, February 21, with 20 percent of the profits generated from 6pm to 7pm that night to be donated to Vincent’s family.
If you can’t make it on the night but wish to donate, visit gofundme.com/vincent-presland.