Halifax's 'little warrior' Ashton finally home after common cold left him fighting for his life
A gorgeous little Halifax boy who spent four months in hospital and almost died is at last back home with his family.
Ashton Leach, who turns two this month, was left fighting for his life after a common cold developed into septicaemia.
He had to be put into an induced coma, battle several different infections including the superbug MRSA and was having prolonged seizures.
His parents, Lisamarie and Alex, kept a vigil by his hospital bed and were at one point "taking it hour by hour".
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But finally, after 16 weeks and five days in hospital, Ashton is now back home with his parents and four siblings in Mixenden.
Lisamarie said she burst into tears when doctors said they could take him home.
"He is amazing," she added. "He is such a little warrior."
Because of visiting rules, only Ashton's parents have been able to see him in hospital so his brothers and sisters - seven-year-old CJ , six-year-old Ruby Grace, two-year-old Kaylamay and one-year-old Brodie - have been missing him for the last four months.
They were delighted to be reunited with him, said Lisamarie, especially Kaylamay.
"They're like two peas in a pod and she kept asking when he was coming home. When she saw him, she was sobbing but couldn't stop smiling.
"Ashton is walking around like nothing has happened. He is becoming a little chatterbox again."
Ashton still has a way to go until he is fully recovered, and will need further scans and tests as an outpatient.
Lisamarie said she has been running on adrenalin these past few months and now the shock of what happened is starting to sink in.
While she is thrilled to have him home, she is still anxious about his health.
Because Ashton was in an induced coma and in a hospital bed for so long, he has needed physio to strengthen his leg muscles but he is already weight-bearing again and can walk while holding someone's hand.
Lisamarie said she has been blown away by the support of the community who have rallied round her family, fundraising to help with the costs of staying by Ashton's bedside and putting banners on front doors to show their support for Ashton.
"I can't thank the community of Mixenden and the whole of Halifax, even people in Leeds, enough," she said.
Ashton's premature birth - at just 26 weeks after Lisamarie suffered a placenta abruption - left him vulnerable to illness.
He was rushed to hospital earlier this year when he became unresponsive after catching a cold which developed into a chest infection and then septicaemia.