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Owen Piper enjoys life at Minster Primary School

Owen Piper at home in Minster with mother Hayley
Owen Piper at home in Minster with mother Hayley

Like hundreds of other four-year-olds, Owen Piper had been looking forward to his first day at primary school last week.

But it was even more of a special moment for his parents Craig and Hayley, who works at RTC Europe on Sittingbourne’s Eurolink Industrial Estate.

It was something they did not dare imagine when their son was born.

The smiling youngster pictured here in his new uniform for St George’s Church of England Primary School was born 17 weeks early and weighed just 1lb 9oz.

When he came into the world at 23 weeks, his mum and dad were told he would not survive 72 hours.

But the tiny baby was rushed to the Oliver Fisher unit at Medway Maritime Hospital where he stayed for 17 weeks.

In that time he got stronger and his parents were eventually allowed to bring him home – the day after his due date.

Owen Piper who was born very premature and has just started school
Owen Piper who was born very premature and has just started school

He has been discharged completely from Medway and although he is still prone to getting ill, Mrs Piper, 29, said he is doing well and last winter was the first he was not admitted to hospital after getting poorly.

“He’s come on leaps and bounds and he’s a proper little character,” she said. “His talking is just phenomenal. He’s a real chatterbox.

“I never in a million years thought he would go to a mainstream school. I always thought he’d be behind in something.

“He’s such an inspiration to me. I look at him every day and think he’s gone through so much already, but he’s just not fazed by anything.”

Mrs Piper is full of praise for Daisychains Nursery in Minster where Owen went. She said it taught him so much.

She said nearby St George’s has been fantastic and given them so much support. She said: “Owen is so excited about school. Every day he asks me ‘is it school yet mummy?’

“He’s still in three-year-old clothes so his uniform is a bit big but he’s so ready for school.”

The family help raise funds regularly for the Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Trust.

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