But for Louise Harrison, 100 days after her baby boy arrived was a bittersweet landmark.

Show your support for Bliss by donating here

In those 100 days, little Louie had never slept in his own Moses basket, never splashed in his own bath and never gone out in his pram.

Louise, 34, from Bristol, said: “He’d never seen sunlight or breathed fresh air.” Instead, Louie had a certificate for spending nearly a third of his first year battling for survival in intensive care.

Mum Louise’s first-hand experience led her to train as a Bliss Champion volunteer, providing emotional and practical support to other families in the same baby unit at St Michael’s hospital in Bristol.

This Christmas, The Sun is supporting Bliss, the UK’s leading charity dedicated to poorly and premature newborns.

Show your support for Bliss by donating here

We’re asking our loyal army of readers to help fund the charity’s work in supporting the families of ill children, up to 8,000 of whom will spend their first Christmas in hospital this year.

At 28 weeks pregnant, Louise was induced after it was discovered her placenta was failing. Louie was born via caesarean section on July 2, 2016, weighing 1lb 7oz.

He was suffering several debilitating health conditions, including suspected meningitis, a bowel perforation, chronic lung disease, a metabolic bone disorder, a heart defect and a hernia.

The fragile tot was put on a ventilator, given antibiotics and high-energy milk to help him grow. All Louise and partner Dean Phillips, 34, could do was will their son to get better.

Show your support for Bliss by donating here

She said: “The nurses and doctors were incredible but all we wanted was to take Louie home.” That October, 100 days after he was born, Louie was still just 4lbs in weight, but 16 days later, he was allowed home.

Louise said: “Having a baby in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) for so long changed me completely as a person. I know what that journey is like for parents so I wanted to help however I could.

“Sometimes it’s washing mugs, or helping them find online shops for tiny premature clothing. Other times it’s just listening to them.”


DONATE ONLINE: Go to thesun. co.uk/light-up-christmas.

DONATE BY TEXT: Send the word BLISS followed by the amount (e.g. BLISS £10) to 70085. You can choose to donate £1, £3, £5, £10, £15 or £20. You will be charged the standard network rate when texting.

DONATE BY PHONE: Call 020 7378 5740.

DONATE BY POST: Send cheques payable to “Bliss – ­National Charity for the Newborn” to Freepost RTZJ-GZYE-RCUA, The Sun Appeal, Bliss, Fourth Floor, Maya House, 134-138 Borough High Street, London SE1 1LB.

  • SUPPORT our appeal by buying an adorable Bliss Bear. The 13cm cuddly toy – the size of an average 24-week-old baby – costs £8.50, which goes directly to Bliss. It’s simple to buy online, just go to thesun.co.uk/blissbear.
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