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A couple have been celebrating their own little Superman each year, after their premature son recovered and grew from being so small when he was born that he was the same size as an action figure of the DC Comics superhero, that his dad had bought for him.
Logan Ray - the son of dad Rob and mum Val - was born at 23 weeks gestation, which is just one week before the abortion cut off limit.
Weighing just 1.5lb and the same length as the tiny 12 inch Superman figure his dad had bought for him when he was born, both doctors and parents were fearing the worst.
However, showing the strength of his first ever toy, little Logan was eventually able to go home after 105 days in hospital. Now, aged four, his mum takes a picture of him every year alongside the action figure to celebrate how far he's come.
"He is a little superhero himself. Even when he was just a pound-and-a-half in weight. I called him my little 'tough guy'" Val said in an interview.
"The doctor would look at me and say 'we will see how he does' and I'd just keep saying 'he's a tough guy!'"
The parents decided to buy the action figure after hospital staff suggested they should have something to compare him to size-wise.
Val said: "I told [Rob] to pick out something that he thought would be appropriate like a doll that we could disinfect and put inside the incubator.
"He called me and said what about a Superman? I thought it was perfect!"
The premature birth occurred after it had been discovered that the new mum had an incompetent cervix - a medical condition where the cervix shortens and opens prematurely, often causing women to miscarry.
Although doctors attempted to stitch it back together, the surgery was unsuccessful and the expectant parents were told to prepare for the worst.
Val said: "The doctors basically told Rob and I that they were going to send us home to miscarry.
"Both Rob and I looked at the doctor and said 'we're not going anywhere, whether we have him tomorrow or have him four months from now, we're staying in the hospital.'"
The expectant mum then had to stay in a bed for 20 days, with her head lower than her feet at all times.
"To be honest, she's incredible" said husband Rob.
"I didn't realise how strong my wife was until I saw her lie in that bed like that upside down all those days.
"She didn't complain at all - she just laid there like 'I'll stay here for months if I need to.'"
20 days later and after 32 hours of labour, she finally gave birth to tiny Logan on July 25 2016. He was rushed to the NICU ward and quickly ventilated.
Logan had two brain bleeds and two holes in his heart as an inguinal hernia and urinary tract infection. At just five-weeks old, he was taken to Randall Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon, USA, in case he needed dialysis - thankfully he didn't.
Painting contractor Rob said: "There was a real fear of losing him at that point. We really thought he didn't have much chance of pulling through."
That wasn't the end of his battle, though. At 11-weeks-old little Logan underwent laser eye surgery to fix his retinopathy of prematurity that could have left him blind.
However, he finally went home after 105 days an four years on is healthy and happy - and still has his Superman sidekick.
Val said: "We take a picture every birthday where Logan holds his Superman and it's amazing seeing the size difference now.
"He looks at it and we tell him that's how big he used to be but I don't know if he quite gets that concept yet!"
Featured Image Credit: Credit: Valerie Ray/SWNS
Topics: UK News
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