SPECIAL MILESTONE: Edward Maher is surrounded by his mum Haylee Spreadborough, brother Malcolm, 4, dad Warrick Maher and sister Chloe, 2, at their Wurtulla home.
SPECIAL MILESTONE: Edward Maher is surrounded by his mum Haylee Spreadborough, brother Malcolm, 4, dad Warrick Maher and sister Chloe, 2, at their Wurtulla home. John McCutcheon

Premmie Edward arrives home after 104 hospital sleeps

A COAST family has been granted its Christmas wish while readying for the next stage of a remarkable medical recovery.

Newborn Edward Maher had to wait 104 days before enjoying his first night at his family's Wurtulla home.

He was born prematurely on September 2 - the day before Father's Day, only 26 weeks into his mother Haylee Spreadborough's pregnancy.

Since then, she and partner Warrick Maher's family life has been based around accessing critical care needed to ensure Edward survived.

They finally got him home on December 14, delighting his older siblings Malcolm, 4, and Chloe, 2, as well as their extended family.

Miss Spreadborough said both of Edward's grandmothers had been able to have their first cuddles since then.

Edward's physical contact was restricted to parents only during his time in hospital.

"I got to watch my mum have her first cuddle and bawl her eyes out, which is really sweet," Miss Spreadborough said.

His arrival home is not without challenges.

Ensuring he is constantly attached to his home oxygen machine is a lot of work.

"It's amazing (having him home) but scary at the same time," Miss Spreadborough said.

"I don't have an extra set of eyes (like in the hospital) making sure he is fine."

Leaving behind the other prematurely born babies' families she had met during Edward's hospitalisation was very difficult.

"You grow some really close bonds in hospital," Miss Spreadborough said.

She said there were plenty of parents who would not have their children home for Christmas.

She knew of three families who, in the space of a week, had come to the tragic realisation they would not be taking their child home at all.

"When it (bringing your child home) actually happens, it makes you realise how lucky you are," she said.

Miss Spreadborough said Edward had many more medical appointments ahead of him.

She was grateful for the support her family had received, particularly from Dr Tim Donovan and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

"His care for him (Edward) was more than what I could have expected or asked for."

"His care for him (Edward) was more than what I could have expected or asked for."



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