Baby has defined the odds to survive after he was born four months early

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A baby who was born four months premature and weighed less than a bag of sugar has defied the odds to survive. 

Murphy Russell was given just a 50 per cent chance of survival after he arrived by emergency C-section on January 24.

The newborn, who weighed a tiny 1lb 11oz, was born at just 24 weeks, which is the UK's abortion cut-off date. A bag of sugar often weighs 1kg (2.2lbs).

After being rushed to intensive care, his parents Joanne, 33, and Richard Russell, 34, were forced to look at their son through an incubator while he battled a low heart rate and a bleed on the brain.  

After a 14-week stay in hospital, Murphy finally went home to Oakenshaw, near Bradford, a month ago. 

The youngster still requires oxygen 24/7, with doctors warning Murphy, who suffers from chronic lung disease, may have cerebral palsy.  

Joanne Russell is pictured with her four-month-old son Murphy. The youngster was born at just 24 weeks on January 24, weighing 1lb 11oz - less than a bag of sugar. After defying the 50/50 odds to survive, Murphy still requires oxygen 24/7 and has chronic lung disease

Joanne Russell is pictured with her four-month-old son Murphy. The youngster was born at just 24 weeks on January 24, weighing 1lb 11oz - less than a bag of sugar. After defying the 50/50 odds to survive, Murphy still requires oxygen 24/7 and has chronic lung disease

Murphy is pictured in an incubator in neonatal intensive care during his 14-week stay in hospital. His parents could not even touch him due to his skin being so sensitive

Murphy is pictured in an incubator in neonatal intensive care during his 14-week stay in hospital. His parents could not even touch him due to his skin being so sensitive

Mrs Russell, a cleaner, worried she may never be a mother after she suffered a miscarriage while eight-weeks pregnant in 2017.  

The mother-of-one also has to take medication every day to control her rheumatoid arthritis, which can affect fertility.

However, the couple conceived in August last year, with Mrs Russell having a healthy pregnancy for the first five months. 

But things took a dramatic turn for the worse when she went into labour in January, despite her due date being May 12. 

'I had been working the day before and then felt like I had trapped wind,' Mrs Russell said.

'It got worse and worse, and I ended up phoning the ambulance, they said I was 5cm dilated.

'Going from no signs at all to giving birth was unbelievable. It's difficult to put into words, it was just blind panic.'

Mrs Russell's traumatic birth lasted around 13 hours. Speaking of labour, she said: 'I was bleeding and bleeding.'

When Murphy arrived, he was immediately taken to neonatal intensive care. 'You get a quick look at the baby and they're rushed off', Mrs Russell said.

'I did see other babies being brought down and it's so traumatic. You don't know what to do.'

The newborn was initially put in a plastic bag. This is due to premature babies losing water easily through their thin skin. Wrapping an infant in a plastic bag and then blankets helps to keep them warm. 

Once he was moved to an incubator, his parents were forced to look at Murphy through an incubator, with his skin being too delicate to touch.  

'Even the doctors don't really know what is going to happen,' Mrs Russell said.

After 10 weeks in an incubator, Murphy was moved to a heated cot, before finally being allowed home.

Mrs Russell (pictured recently with Murphy) worried she would never be a mother after suffering a miscarriage in 2017

She is pictured holding her son for the first time

Mrs Russell (pictured left recently with Murphy) worried she would never be a mother after suffering a miscarriage in 2017. She is pictured right holding her son for the first time

Doctors did not know what would happen to Murphy (pictured in an incubator as a newborn)

Doctors did not know what would happen to Murphy (pictured in an incubator as a newborn)

Mrs Russell and her husband Richard are pictured taking Murphy home to Oakenshaw, near Bradford, a month ago

Although home, doctors will be unsure of Murphy's future health until he grows older. They have warned he may have cerebral palsy

Mrs Russell and her husband Richard are pictured left taking Murphy home to Oakenshaw, near Bradford, a month ago. Although home, doctors will be unsure of Murphy's future health until he grows older. They have warned he may have cerebral palsy

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