While all mums have a reason to celebrate Mother’s Day, this year will be very special for Cowra mother Laura Moodie and her family.
Sunday will mark one year since the St Raphael’s teacher and her husband David got to bring their little boy Ryan home after a 13-week fight for life in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Sydney.
Twelve months on, their “little fighter” is stronger than they ever expected.
“He’s gone forward in leaps and bounds,” Laura said.
“He’s already walking, babbling and he’s met all of his milestones and he’s going really well.”
Ryan was one year corrected on May 9 – the day he was supposed to be born last year. Instead, he arrived at only 26 weeks on February 5, 2017.
“I was actually surprised when he met all of his milestones and started walking last week,” Laura said.
“It’s been really exciting time for everyone just to see his progression and his growth and what a happy baby he is.”
Whilst Laura and David were hesitant about bringing him home 12 months ago, little Ryan and the support of both their families made it easy for them.
“I remember this time last year we were deciding is he alright to leave the hospital? Will he be okay when he gets home? It was a bit nerve wracking because you’re so used to having that one on one with the nurse,” she said.
“But from the time he got home, he settled in really, really quickly, we had no trouble with him.”
Laura said leaving the hospital a year ago was also a “bittersweet” experience – of the eight babies on the ward, only four went home.
“We remember there were four babies who died while we were there, who we were close too. He (Ryan) is a miracle everyday.”
And while there are still a number of issues Ryan has to tackle throughout his life, including daily medication and doctor’s appointments, Laura says he is a determined little boy.
“There are always anxious moments but there are always more highs than lows,” she said.
“But he’s just a blessing and a miracle and he’s such a little fighter, to look back on his operations and all of the procedures he’s had and how quickly he’s recovered.”
“To be where he is today is all of his determination and courage… he himself has done a lot of hard work and we’ve just been there to support him along the way.
“He's been the real hero in it all, he's my real hero.”