The mother of a premature baby who has defied the odds since birth has hailed him as her “miracle” son.
Raman Lamba was born by emergency C-section after mum Jasmyn was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia.
An ultrasound had shown that while Ms Lamba was 32 weeks into her pregnancy, her unborn child was the size of a 26-week-old foetus.
He was also diagnosed with an extremely undersized skull – a condition called microcephaly.
“He was born by emergency C-section and he had to go straight into ICU,” Ms Lamba recalled.
“He was in ICU for 54 days. His head was extremely small for his body. And the consultants were all extremely worried because they didn’t think that he was going to be able to walk, to speak, he was going to have delays in his speech, problems with his balance. He basically wasn’t going to be able to do anything.
“The consultants told me at the time that it was one day at a time. Take one day at a time. It was unbelievable the emotions I went through with him because I didn’t think he was going to survive.
“It was just really, really hard on me because it got to a point where two weeks into ICU his head had stopped growing.
“The doctors were saying give it a few days and they said we’re just going to hope and pray that everything’s going to go well and it’s going to start growing again.
“They were phoning all around the world through to other consultants to find out if they could find out anything about microcephaly and how they could try and help him.
“He was getting constant blood transfusions and he was having problems with his bowels and everything. But we got through it.”
Raman is now 17 months old and mum and son, who live in east Belfast, are looking forward to the festive season.
Ms Lamba has credited much of Raman’s progress to the support of premature baby charity TinyLife, particularly a developmental course run by the organisation.
“The support that TinyLife gave us was unbelievable, it was great for development,” she said.
“It’s been helping him a lot, not only him, but it guides parents to hit those milestones with their kids and helps them through each stage
“He is definitely a miracle baby.
“I have to say I am truly grateful for all the support that TinyLife has given us because we are still attending this course.
“The fact that there are other children there who are going through the same stages or situations they can associate with each other, and it helps them grow within each other.
“It means we’re not alone. It’s easy enough when you see all your friends and they've gone through pregnancies that their child hasn’t been in ICU or hasn’t had a problem or it’s just been very easy for them. And it’s nice to go to a group and know ‘wait a minute, this isn’t an issue’.
“This is a place where we can go and feel relaxed and it’s not a problem.”