LITTLE fighter Alfie Wainwright will have a real story to tell when he grows up.
For the miracle toddler has battled back against a very challenging start in life to be just like any other car-mad two-year-old, learning to walk and speaking his first words.
The toddler was born severely premature at almost two months early after he stopped moving in the womb, and doctors made the shocking discovery that he was tangled up in his own umbilical cord.
Mum Shelley Walton hadn’t even started her maternity leave from work when she was rushed to the Jessop Wing neo-natal unit in Sheffield for an emergency Caesarean section operation.
Doctors believed baby Alfie would have died if she had not gone into hospital that day.
Shelley, now 25, of Pavilion Way, Firth Park, said: “It was a very scary time.
“From the moment they told me I would need a Caesarean I felt like I was on another planet, it all happened so quickly.
“But I’m so very proud of Alfie for how well he has come on since then.”
This month would have marked Alfie’s second birthday if he’d arrived as planned on his due date - but instead he turned two before Christmas.
“He had his second birthday in November and has started walking as well,” said Shelley.
“He’s just starting to say a few words, and he tries to copy things from children’s television shows as well as all the normal things like mamma and dadda.”
Because Alfie was tangled in the cord his brain was starved of oxygen and he was put into intensive care - weighing just 4lb 3oz - in November 2010.
He also had a low blood platelet count and suffered from severe jaundice, as well as having to have a special milk formula when he eventually went home.
But after a rough few weeks he pulled through and is now like any other boisterous toddler, enjoying play group and playing with toy trains and cars.
Shelley, who is back at work as an MRI assistant at Northern General Hospital, said: “Alife is absolutely fine now, he’s like any normal little boy.
“When I look back now at what happened it feels like it didn’t happen to us, like it was a very long time ago.
“He was tiny when he was born but he weighs a normal amount now - he’s piled it on!
“I have kept all the newspaper clippings, and all his tiny clothes from hospital, to show him when he is older.”