A baby boy who suffered a brain injury during his premature birth has died in his devastated parents’ arms at just 15 days old.
Little Teddy Thomas took his final breath yesterday after battling for life in neonatal intensive care for more than two weeks.
In a heartbreaking Facebook post, his mum Claire said it "is a blessing to be parents to the strongest little man we have ever known".
She added that she, Teddy’s dad Lee and his big sister Grace will always love the "beautiful" youngster, Belfast Live reports.
Teddy was delivered by emergency C-section at Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the early hours of October 28.
The 2lb, 10oz youngster was born 12 weeks early, and his parents remained by his side as he fought for life at the hospital’s neonatal ICU.
But in a devastating blow, their precious little boy passed away yesterday.
Lee, from County Down, told Belfast Live: "His wee brain injury was just too bad to tell him to breathe on his own."
Baby Teddy, as he became affectionately known, had inspired the prayers of hundreds over the past two weeks.
And in her Facebook post, Claire thanked everyone for their support as they hoped and prayed for the youngster to make it.
In the message, uploaded last night, she said: "Our beautiful Teddy took his last breath is our arms today (sic).
"It is a blessing to be parents to the strongest little man we have ever known. We have no doubt that Teddy will be the brightest star in the sky tonight. Mummy, Daddy and your big sister Grace will always love you."
She added: "We want to thank everyone who has said a prayer, reached out to us and kept us in their thoughts over the past 15 days,
"We will be forever grateful because the Team Teddy army behind us kept us going each day.
"We also want to thank the NICU nurses and the friends we have made. We will always be an NICU family.
"Tonight we ask for our last prayer. Please pray for every baby still fighting. Our Teddy Bear will be looking down over you all."
Claire also shared two touching black-and-white pictures of herself and Lee cradling their "gorgeous" boy in hospital.
The couple had earlier been told by doctors to "prepare for the worst".
Lee previously told Belfast Live: "You wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy, but we are going to fight tooth and nail for him.
"We have been told with there being signs of brain injury and very little movement we should prepare for the worst."
Teddy arrived into the world at 1.01am on his birth date.
His dad added: "Claire actually tried to go naturally, but they are saying he moved and his head wasn’t coming out first. She then had to be rushed straight to theatre and he was delivered by section.
“They hadn’t got him breathing for 40 minutes so I think that’s where we are hitting our snag with the brain activity.”
The little boy was named by his sister.
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