Elimbah's Luca Jay Forester was born in 2016 weighing 416 grams and just 10 inches long but the little battler is alive and well.
Elimbah's Luca Jay Forester was born in 2016 weighing 416 grams and just 10 inches long but the little battler is alive and well. Contributed

One year on: The miracle baby who refused to stop fighting

HIS cheeky smile booms wide, his inquisitive mind constantly wanders, his happy laughter rings across the lawn as he plays with the family dogs.

From the outside, little Luca Jay Forester looks just like any happy toddler.

But looks can be deceiving.

Just one year and two months ago little Luca was born weighing just 416 grams and only 10 inches long.

He was born fighting the mother of all battles.

Fighting to stay inside the womb, fighting for every breath, fighting to stay alive.

After just 23 weeks and two days in his mother's womb, Luca was the youngest premature baby to survive in Queensland at the time.

But survive he did. Somehow.

 

Elimbah's Luca Jay Forester was born in 2016 weighing 416 grams and just 10 inches long but the little battler is alive and well.
Elimbah's Luca Jay Forester was born in 2016 weighing 416 grams and just 10 inches long but the little battler is alive and well. Contributed

"When my water broke, the doctors brought in counsellors and social workers to tell me the worst," his mum Lia explains.

"I could feel his heartbeat and thought it was strong. But looking back I just didn't want to admit it.

"I ended up being in labour for a lovely five days. I was given lung steroids and placed on a magnesium drip.

"When he was delivered they whisked him off to the ICU. It was quite confronting to see him, all translucent and purple. But he was alive."

But the blows kept coming for Luca.

 

Elimbah's Luca Jay Forester was born in 2016 weighing 416 grams and just 10 inches long but the little battler is alive and well.
Elimbah's Luca Jay Forester was born in 2016 weighing 416 grams and just 10 inches long but the little battler is alive and well. Contributed

He underwent heart surgery at just 18 days old - an age when most doctors wouldn't operate.

Over the next five months he came within a whisker of dying three times.

Lia's voice breaks as she looks back on the worst night of all.

"Getting a phone call to come in and say your goodbyes ... that is so scary," she said.

"It was up and down for weeks and weeks. Finally we got our first hold with him on Boxing Day 2016."

 

Elimbah's Luca Jay Forester was born in 2016 weighing 416 grams and just 10 inches long but the little battler is alive and well.
Elimbah's Luca Jay Forester was born in 2016 weighing 416 grams and just 10 inches long but the little battler is alive and well. Contributed

With Lia and dad Jay in his corner, Luca went the full 12 rounds and miraculously came through.

"The doctors told us they'd never seen a baby fight so hard to be here, he just wanted to stay with us," Lia said as Luca played at her feet.

"Jay rides motorbikes and rode them round the backyard. His smile was unbelievable. I might have a little daredevil on my hands.

"He is quite an active baby, so cheeky, he crawls around everywhere and chews on everything.

"He is always smiling and just before Christmas said his first word, 'Dadda'. It was lovely."

While he still has an extremely low immune system that needs constant monitoring, Luca is just a little boy who said no to death.



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