A MOTHER who was told her baby would die a day after he was born has proudly watched him start his first day of school.

Stanway resident Abbey Burns, 25, went into labour at just 27 weeks, three months earlier than expected.

Four hours later son Roman was born weighing just two pounds and 11 ounces and contracted Group B Strep, a type of bacteria which in turn caused him to develop sepsis.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Roman Burns was 2 lbs and 11 ounces when he was bornRoman Burns was 2 lbs and 11 ounces when he was born

Miss Burns said: “Because it was so early I thought my pains were those Braxton Hicks ones, where it feels like contractions but it’s not.

“When I went to the hospital they told me that I was already six centimetres dilated, so I was over half way into labour.

“It was all so quick, and four hours later Roman was born, but I didn’t even get to hold him. He was taken off me straight away because they had to resuscitate him.”

The trauma of his early birth meant Roman suffered a grade-three bleed on the brain, which was so significant it caused his ventricles, which carry cerebral fluid, to enlarge.

“We were called into a room with the nurses and the consultant and the doctor, and they sat us down and told us that we had to prepare for the worst and that Roman was most likely to die,” Miss Burns said.

“When I saw him he was black and blue and you could see through his skin. He looked awful.”

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Abbey and Roman BurnsAbbey and Roman Burns

In total Roman spent three months in hospital, with six weeks at Addenbrookes, Cambridge, and six weeks at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.

The severe bleed on the brain caused Roman to suffer mobility problems and as a result he has had to have both physiotherapy and speech therapy.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Roman on his first day of schoolRoman on his first day of school

But now, four years on, Roman has started at Stanway Primary School with his delighted mum watching on: “I’m so proud of how far we’ve all come in these last four years.

“He doesn’t always want to leave me in the morning but at the end of the day he always comes out smiling and happy.”