IT has been a magical Christmas already for little Connor’s family after the poorly lad understood what Santa said to him for the first time.
It comes in the same miracle year that the four-year-old took his first steps following a long battle with cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
These are milestones that mum Tracy Ventris-Field did not dream of a year ago.
“I did not imagine he would be counting, or putting one foot in front of the other,” she said.
Connor was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy which meant he could not walk or talk.
He was born in a set of triplets but was the only baby who survived. After several heartbreaking years for his family, this year they have been able to celebrate him Connor’s little steps.
Tracy, from Longlevens, said: “He can say ‘door’, ‘mum’ and ‘dad’. In his own language he can tell people what to do, such as switching lights on and off. He has everyone running around after him. He has a cheeky sense of humour.”
Connor and his family receive care and support from the nurses at the James Hopkins Trust, who help with physiotherapy and other physical activities.
Tracy said: “The staff at the trust have noticed how much he has improved in the last year. At the charity’s Christmas Fair Connor understood what Father Christmas said to him.”
Tracy added: “The years prior to this have been pretty horrific. This was mine and my husband’s fourth attempt at IVF. At one of the scans, they said I was ‘very, very pregnant’. I had many complications. I had placenta previa at 16 weeks, which led to huge bleeds.
“I had the babies three months early. Connor and his baby brother Harry were identical. There were complications because they had twin-to-twin syndrome, which meant that they shared a placenta.
“Harry died 13 days before I gave birth and Darcey died 24 hours after birth, while Connor suffered a bleed 48 hours after he was born.”
Tracy and David made regular trips to the hospital as Connor had neuro-flu and swine flu.
Tracy added: “We can enjoy Connor now. We used to be a bit obsessive that something was going to happen.
“He shakes his head when someone is singing. He tries more and more to use other body parts. He loves his trike, which he rides when he goes to the James Hopkins Trust. He also enjoys going swimming.”
The family will start their Christmas celebrations at the children’s carol service at Longlevens Church today, followed by tomorrow with various grandparents, aunties and uncles.