After 130 days in hospital, miracle baby Aimee earns a first trip home
WHEN she was born, she was so small her father was able to fit his wedding band over her wrist and slide it up her arm.
But after 130 days in hospital, a little girl born 16 weeks premature has finally made it home from hospital.
Aimee Laura Hennessy was born on January 6 last but is only now spending her first week at home in Co Limerick with parents John and Nicola.
She weighed just 1lb 3oz when she was born -- but has slowly blossomed, and now weighs 6lb 1oz, which would be considered a healthy weight for a newborn.
Speaking to the Irish Independent from her home in Kilmallock, Co Limerick, Aimee's mother Nicola said her only child "is doing fine".
"She will be 19-weeks-old this Friday, but should really only be three weeks old," Nicola said.
"She came home the same as any other baby. She is home with her vitamins and her irons (supplements) -- that is all."
There were many tears shed when the baby left Limerick maternity hospital.
"There wasn't a dry eye in the hospital when Aimee was leaving. All the nurses were heartbroken after her -- God help us. I was bawling as well, we were all crying," Nicola said.
"The nurses and doctors were fantastic. I couldn't praise the nurses enough -- they were unbelievable to Aimee. They could not do enough for her."
The delighted parents said their daughter was a little fighter and is already ruling the roost at home.
"She is getting clever. She is barely home 24 hours and she is the boss of the house. We are wrapped around her finger," Nicola said.
"She is very good though -- she will only cry if she is hungry. She is in a good routine from the hospital. Her last feed would be at 12.30am and she might not wake up then till 5.30am."
Aimee received medical care in Limerick and Dublin before she was deemed well enough to go home.
Nicola said: "She had to go to Holles Street in Dublin to get her eyes done. There was a bit of laser treatment, but that went well.
"She still has a chronic lung, but that should sort itself out over time as she grows. It's like a scarring of the lung -- but as she gets bigger, her lungs will get bigger and the scarring will get smaller. She is good."
Since arriving home, Aimee is being treated as a VIP by relations and neighbours.
"The grandparents got in to see her when she was very sick. But aunts, uncles and two cousins couldn't really get in to see her," Nicola said.
"She is spoilt rotten now. Everyone has been brilliant to her -- we got so much support from local people, but also nationwide."