Baby born 16 weeks premature finally goes home after 11 months in hospital

  • WATCH: ITV Meridian's Richard Slee went to meet the family

Bringing their baby home from hospital soon after birth is something many parents take for granted.

But for Lily Walker and David Hipkiss, bringing baby Ava back to their home on the Isle of Wight, 11 months after she came into the world was a major milestone.

Ava was born sixteen weeks premature in Portsmouth's Queen Alexandra hospital, weighing just one pound and four ounces.

Nine weeks later, she was transferred to Southampton Children's Hospital for additional specialist care, while her parents stayed in nearby Ronald McDonald House.

Most families stay at the House for around two weeks, but Ava was so ill that Lily and David stayed for over twenty times as long.

Ava has a number of ongoing health challenges, including chronic lung disease, but the family are looking forward to some time at home.

Ava spent 11 months in hospital Credit: Lily Walker and David Hipkiss

Mum, Lily, said: "We had quite a few home dates, but Ava's decided 'No, I quite like it here, I'm not going to go just yet. But it'll be nice to get back to some sort of normality."

Dad, David, added: "It's amazing to see... how Ava's done so well. That's been the thing that's kept us going so strong."

With Ava's first birthday fast approaching, along with her first Christmas, you can be sure that her family have a memorable few weeks ahead.

But as they settle back into life on the Isle of Wight, there's no doubt that they won't forget the people who helped to make Ronald McDonald House their very own home from home.