The family of a girl born 14 weeks premature have described their joy as she has celebrated a first birthday they once feared they might never see.
Diamond-Rose was born weighing 2lbs 3oz and spent weeks battling for survival in neonatal intensive care.
Parents Natalie Taylor and Boyd Townsend, of Knotwood Court, Church were distraught at being warned their premature baby had only a 50 per cent chance of survival after her birth at Burnley
General Teaching Hospital. However, despite her rollercoaster start, Diamond-Rose has reached her first birthday milestone and is a happy, smiling little girl.
Mum Natalie, 27, who also has children Ebony-Leigh, eight, Evie-Grace, six, Riley-James, three and Junior-Jay, two, gave birth to Diamond-Rose by emergency Caesarean Section as she was in the breech position.
She recalled: “None of my other children came early so it was a real shock. I was so scared as it was so early, I didn’t think she was going to survive.”
Diamond-Rose was ventilated for a few weeks and carried on fighting despite enduring numerous highs and lows.
"She had several blood transfusions and suffered a number of infections and had sepsis.
"After 14 weeks in the high dependency unit, she was finally well enough to go home and medics are pleased with her progress.
Former carer Natalie said: “Diamond-Rose is on oxygen through a nasal cannula and the consultant says she might be on it for a while yet.
"She is such a happy baby and is always smiling and is so good and hardly ever cries.
"She sees a physiotherapist for her development and gets exercises and the community neonatal nurses come out every week to see her.
“She has just started to sit up on her own. Her brothers and sisters are really protective of her and everyone loves spoiling Diamond-Rose.”
She added: “The NICU staff are amazing and are all heroes who save so many babies’ lives.
"We have been back with gifts and cards a few times and we held a fundraising night with a raffle and auction which raised £1,200 for the unit.
“It is nothing compared to what they did for Diamond-Rose but we just wanted to give a little back.”
Natalie’s mum Julie Broadhurst, of Central Avenue, Oswaldtwistle, said: “We knew the chances were slim and I remember worrying about how Natalie would cope if she lost her.”