Ashton Leach, from Mixenden, is critically ill in Leeds General Infirmary after a common cold developed into septicaemia.
His parents, Lisamarie and Alex, are keeping a vigil by his bedside and have been inundated with messages of love and support.
“It’s very hard,” said Lisamarie. “We’re taking it hour by hour.”
Ashton was born in June 2020 at just 26 weeks after Lisamarie suffered a placenta abruption. Doctors said he had a less than one per cent chance of surviving but, after 100 days in hospital, the little fighter was finally able to go home.
He needed oxygen therapy until he was 10 months old but has since been thriving. He loves playing with his four siblings and recently learned to walk.
But his premature birth has left him vulnerable and two weeks ago he caught a cold and then a chest infection. A few days later, Ashton had to be rushed to hospital when he became unresponsive.
He has been placed in a medically-induced coma and was on his way to Sheffield for specialist care when the ambulance had to stop at Leeds General Infirmary because his condition was not stable.
He is currently too vulnerable to move.
Lisamarie is urging parents of other premature babies to be extra cautious about any signs of illness: “We thought we were over the worst. We never thought this would happen to us.
She said Ashton is a “fiery” and “cheeky” little boy. “Everyone adores him,” she added.
“He is a fighter. People have watched him grow and then this has happened so out of the blue.”
An online prayer page and fundraiser have been set up dedicated to Ashton.
The money raised will go towards the costs involved of Alex and Lisamarie being able to be with Ashton at all times while he is in hospital.
There is also a Facebook group - Prayers for Warrior Prince Ashton - with more than 150 members who have been posting scores of messages of love and support for Ashton and his family.
“Everyone has just been absolutely amazing,” said Lisamarie.
She said her auntie had put a banner for Ashton on her front door, and then everyone on her auntie's street had done the same.
“It’s been overwhelming," she said.