Noah’s life-saving op brings birthday joy

Noah Smith with mum Louise and nurse Jade Wraith
Noah Smith with mum Louise and nurse Jade Wraith
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A BABY born weighing less than two pounds has celebrated his first birthday following complex surgery at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Noah Smith arrived into the world 15 weeks early, weighing a tiny 1lb 10oz.

He needed life-saving surgery after doctors discovered his bowel tissue was dying. Tests revealed the disease was stopping him from feeding properly - and that the infected organ could have poisoned him.

Parents Louise and Phil, both 35, were told he would need surgery to remove almost half of his small bowel.

But now the family, which includes sister Maddie, have celebrated Noah’s first birthday together at their home in Newbold, Chesterfield.

Phil said: “Noah is such a happy little baby and it’s hard to believe what he’s been through.

“When Noah was born so prematurely it was a very worrying time for us.

“He was just so tiny that it was difficult to imagine how his body would cope.”

Noah’s condition - necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC - causes infection and inflammation of the bowel which results in the tissue being destroyed. An operation was the only option and Jenny Walker, the consultant surgeon at Sheffield Children’s Hospital who performed the delicate procedure, said she was extremely pleased it had gone well.

“He has come a long way since he was born and is thriving at home,” she said.

“We’re continuing to monitor his condition but it’s fantastic to see him doing so well.”

Noah, who spent 11 months in hospital, still needs a feeding tube and takes nutrient supplements from a drip.

But Louise said: “Noah has coped so well with everything he has been through. He’s an amazing little boy and we are blessed to have him in our lives.”

Phil added: “Dr Walker and the staff at the Children’s Hospital really have been fantastic. Noah’s condition may affect him for the rest of his life but we are taking every day as it comes and we are so thankful he is here with us today.”