‘Little miracle’: Tiny baby born at 23 weeks beats the odds
LITTLE Ethan McGarry is a fighter.
Given about half the usual 40-week term to develop, the two-week-old has defied the odds to not only survive, but thrive, under watchful eyes at the Townsville Hospital special care nursery.
But for new parents Nicole and Dave McGarry the journey into parenthood the second time around has been a horrendous bittersweet rollercoaster.
"He was born at 23 weeks plus six days and his sister was born 22 weeks and five days but she didn't make it," Ms McGarry said.
"He hung around inside for another eight days so he is our little fighter; our little miracle.
"He has his sister's spirit with him to get him by."
His sister's name was Amelia.
In late April Ms McGarry was rushed aboard a lifesaving Royal Flying Doctor flight to Townsville after entering labour at 22 weeks.
She was told there was a chance both babies would not survive.
"They told me that they both wouldn't make it and twins are born within a couple of minutes of each other and not a couple of days," she said.
"We are expecting the worse; we were expecting to lose both of them but he stayed in there and that gave him the chance to survive."
Grateful to be offered accommodation at Ronald McDonald House and for the support of her mum, who has been looking after her firstborn son Mason, Ms McGarry said things had been tough.
"I have been fortunate to have two cuddles (with Ethan) and there is still all the tubes and it's very limited in what you can and cannot do," Ms McGarry said.
"(But) it's been very up and down emotionally, celebrating the arrival of one child (while) grieving the loss of another.
"And it's definitely tough seeing (Ethan) plugged into everything, but that's what is keeping him going."
On Mother's Day Ms McGarry will be treated to a special breakfast at the Ville Resort-Casino courtesy of Ronald McDonald House.
Originally published as 'Our little miracle': Tiny baby born at 23 weeks beats the odds