Boy who survived, after being born at just 26 weeks, has started school in Poplar

PUBLISHED: 20:15 11 September 2012 | UPDATED: 20:46 11 September 2012

Alfie Taylor, aged four, who was born at just 26 weeks, starts school

Alfie Taylor, aged four, who was born at just 26 weeks, starts school

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A boy who survived against the odds after being born at just 26 weeks has started school in Poplar.

Alfie Taylor, aged 4, from Beckton, who last week began at St Saviour’s Primary School, had to be delivered early after his mother Vicky Sheldrake’s placenta erupted while out shopping for a buggy in East Ham.

Alfie weighed just two pounds when born and was in intensive care for two months. He suffered a series of medical conditions and is still more susceptible to viruses and infections.

Vicky said: “My GP told me it was unlikely for a baby to survive at 26 weeks after a placenta eruption.

“So it was amazing and so lovely to see him skip happily through the school playground on his way to school, just like all the other kids.

“He had a difficult start in life, and is a bit unsure of himself, but he’s a little fighter, I’m so proud of him.”

Vicky was rushed to hospital by ambulance when her placenta erupted.

She said: “It was terrifying. I knew I was losing a lot of blood but didn’t realise the enormity of it.

“After Alfie was born I was told to prepare for the worst and take one day at a time.

“I could not hold him for the first five days and had too use a so-called kangaroo technique of putting him inside my jumper.”

His early start in life meant Alfie needed 24 hours oxygen and was put on a ventilator for the first two days. He had to be tube fed and suffered from gastric reflux, which could cause milk to come straight back up and block his airways.

Vicky said: “He actually stopped breathing on one occasion. It was terrifying.”

Alfie also suffered from chronic lung decease and needed blood transfusions and ion supplements.

He also had testicle hernia, which meant he had to have his belly-botton cut out to remove a lump before going back into intensive care.

But after being born on October 15, 2007, Vicky got to take Alfie home on his due date on January 17 the following year.

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