Miracle baby: Life started as a fight for Ashton
SITTING on his mum and dad's lap, Ashton Holloway is a figure far removed from the premature baby that was near death in February of last year.
Happy, healthy, smiling and laughing is a far cry from the eight months he spent in the hospital, living in a humidicrib and breathing through a ventilator.
His mum, Amy, was rapt to learn that she was expecting her third baby, but problems started about 22 weeks into her pregnancy when she began bleeding and was put on bed rest by the hospital.
A few days later the situation had not improved and the hospital started to prepare for the worst.
"I started getting contractions and they gave me a steroid injection for the baby's lungs. They gave me a dose of that in case I did go into labour, so they sent me to Townsville Hospital because I was getting those frequent contractions," she said.
It was three days later that things really started to move at a rapid pace.
"I was actually still on bed rest but they said I could get out, and at the time dad came up to visit me and we were at the casino in Townsville and that's when I had a massive big rush of blood and went into full labour in the casino," she said.
From that moment, Amy and Brad's lives changed forever. They packed up their home and moved to Townsville.
"I was in labour for about 10 hours and then bub came and we spent roughly 8.5 months in hospital in Townsville. So we had to fully relocate to Townsville and that was really hard for us," she said.
Amy said that in the middle of the most trying time in their lives, they lost everything.
"It was hard, I lost everything trying to live in two towns, lost my house and I lost my car from wear and tear of driving up and down to see the other kids," she said.
"I am finally getting to where my goal is, but obviously it would be really hard on anyone."
Amy said while Ashton was in Townsville, he received the highest level of care.
"The level of care here was so high, it was $2500 a day in the neonatal intensive care unit, so it worked out to be around $295,000, not including the trips back and forth with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, which is $22,000 each trip. (It's) not only for me but for my son as well," she said.
The family thinks Ashton is their special miracle.
"He has just been our little fighter, and he just pulled through it," Amy said.
"I have become who I am because of this. It's even changed my whole career. I always wanted to do nursing, but now I want to go into working in the NICU unit."