Doctors warned Amy Haughey that her baby boy would most likely die within hours of birth but yesterday, the happy and healthy toddler was the page boy at her wedding.
Little Jamie Boyce faced a battle for survival after he was born 13 weeks premature, weighing only 2lb 11oz.
Ms Haughey (23) and boyfriend Shaun Boyce (27) were told by medics when her waters broke at 19 weeks that Jamie would probably be born within hours and it looked like there would be no hope of him surviving.
But Jamie defied the odds and was born by emergency caesarean section at 27 weeks.
Yesterday, although he has just started walking, he was the blue-eyed boy in the bridal party at his parents’ wedding along with his older sister, three-year-old Rachel.
Ms Haughey and Mr Boyce tied the knot in the Church of the Holy Family, Ardara, Co Donegal, and little miracle Jamie wore a suit to match the groom.
The only difference is that while his father wore black shoes, Jamie had runners in blue and white -- the colours of his dad’s football team, Naomh Conaill in Glenties.
Ms Haughey said that during her crisis pregnancy she looked up stories of experiences like hers on the internet.
“Most of them had sad outcomes but there was the odd happy story and that was what I clung to,” she said.
“Finally, everything worked out and what a lovely wedding with Jamie as the page-boy.”
Jamie was born long before most babies enter the world. He was christened within minutes and rushed to another hospital.
He spent almost four more months in hospital before he was allowed to go home to Glenties.
Ms Haughey said: “Jamie has just started walking, helping himself along with one hand. His godmother, Geraldine Gavigan, one of my bridesmaids, held him by the hand.
“Although many children would be walking unaided at Jamie’s age, his physio has explained because he was born in June when it should have been September we have to make allowances. So, although he is 18 months, he really is only at the walking stage of a 15-month-old.
“Heaven knows what he will be like when he is really running around. Already, he is a busy boy. He is into everything.
“His favourite pastime is breaking photo frames so everything has to be put up high out of his reach.
“He is really full of life. He is a joy to have and it’s wonderful that he can enjoy our wedding.”
Jamie was also at the wedding reception last night, more than an hour’s drive away in Burt, where 160 guests celebrated. But he’s not going on the honeymoon.
Ms Haughey said: “Mammy and Daddy are getting away for a few days on our own. Jamie and Rachel will be cared for by their two grannies.
“But as a reward for being so good on this day, they are getting their own trip with us later in the year to Disneyland.”