Noel was born at 28 weeks gestation, with Hyaline Membrane disease. This meant he couldn't breathe on his own because his lungs had no elasticity. He was on a ventilator for 10 weeks, and he nearly died many times! He finally did manage to breathe on his own and was discharged from hospital after 96 days in Intensive Care.
But every infection he got saw him admitted to hospital again for many years. As a result of needing 80% oxygen in his first few days, Noel suffered some brain damage, and so he was very late reaching all the normal childhood steps, such as sitting, walking, talking, chewing etc. He needed intensive speech therapy for many years.
Despite all the problems, Noel is now 41, and although he still has many medical problems (asthma, arthritis, and ME) his sheer determination has meant that we feel so blessed to have him as our son!Jennifer