She weighed less than a cold drink can, but baby Hope is home for Christmas

Dr Paul Keating, a paediatrician who practises at the hospital, said one of the major problems after birth was that it is not possible to ventilate such a tiny baby.

“We provided Hope with all of the support we could, but with such underdeveloped lungs, she had to breathe on her own. I am delighted to say that Hope did this from the start with great aplomb,” he said.

Hope’s mother, Dorianne, said after years of struggling to have a child, Hope was what she and her husband had longed for.

“My husband Lesley and I have been trying to have a baby for the past 10 years, so we have been praying hard for Hope ever since her birth,” said Dorianne.

“The 275 days that Hope has spent in hospital have been exceptionally hard and something of an emotional roller coaster, but we are deeply grateful to have reached a point where she is now ready to come home with us,” she added.

Dorianne’s pregnancy had been unexpected.

She had fallen ill with Bell’s palsy and her doctor warned her that the medication she had to take for the condition could result in her falling pregnant.

“I laughed because after many rounds of fertility treatment over the years, I still hadn’t been pregnant and I certainly did not expect to then. Well, I am delighted to say, the doctor was right,” she said.

With mounting health concerns, including pre-eclampsia, she had to have a cesarean section weeks before her due date.

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