A GRATEFUL couple whose baby has beaten all the odds are trying to raise £10,000 for the hospitals that have given him a chance of leading a normal life.
Little Jack Barnes was born three months ago suffering from a severe bowel condition, kidney problems and a hole in heart, following problems in the womb.
But after a series of operations, and a warning that he might not survive, he is now at home with parents Heather and Stuart in Altham Lane, Altham.
Heather, 34, said: "He has gone through such a lot but it's lovely to have him home. Every time we see the consultants it's better news. He will need aftercare for the next six months and may be on medication for the rest of his life but we are just thankful he is still with us."
She explained: "As soon as he was born by caesarian section in Queen's Park they whisked him away to St Mary's Hospital in Manchester but I didn't know that as I was unconscious. He was taken in an ambulance with all the blue lights flashing."
Jack was rushed to the intensive care unit but doctors warned Stuart, 27, who is a farmer, that he might not survive as he was critically ill. He was put on a ventilator as his tiny lungs had collapsed.
Heather added: "I went over the next day. It was horrible to see him on the ventilator with pipes everywhere. They fitted him with a colostomy bag. They had to or else he would have blown up. He was in intensive care for eight days and then put on the high dependency unit."
Jack was later transferred back to Queen's Park and has since undergone a major seven-hour operation at Pendle-bury Children's Hospital to rebuild his bowel and back passage.
Even though he has now been allowed home, Heather said the fight was not over.
She said: "He has to have aftercare and nurses visit him twice a week. They are brilliant and the surgeon Dr Antonio Marobito has been fantastic with us.
"We are taking him to Alder Hey Children's Hospital next week so the doctors can do tests on his heart. He has a hole and two ducts that haven't closed properly. Hopefully they will be able to take his colostomy bag away at Christmas."
A huge charity night is set to be staged at Poplar Working Men's Club, Accring-ton, on 25 September to help other sick children at Queen's Park, St Mary's and Pendlebury Hospitals.
It will feature a raffle with many top prizes up for grabs including rides in a balloon and helicopter, a TV and a DVD player.
The couple, who have another son Sam, four, are also hoping to line up a top celebrity from the world of football or TV to throw their support behind the event.
Other attractions will be a disco and slap-up buffet. Tickets priced at £15 are available from Hallworth's Butchers on Accrington Market or by contacting Heather on 01282 779806.