Bringing their baby son home for the first time is the moment new parents Shannon Wortley and Eric McCartney really can't wait for.

Henry McCartney has been receiving special care in hospital since he was born on June 1 and Shannon, 22, has been admitted to hospital herself twice, both before and after her son's birth.

Henry was delivered by emergency C-section at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester after Shannon, of Winterbourne Abbas, was diagnosed with an extreme case of Vasa Previa.

This potentially fatal pregnancy condition affects roughly one in every 2,500 births.

Baby Henry, born at 32 weeks weighing 4lbs 2oz, had to be transferred to Portsmouth so he could be placed on a ventilator in the hospital's NICU.

Dorset Echo:

Shannon said: "It was a bit of a nightmare. At 30 weeks the Vasia Previa was said to be minor but then I ended up spending a week in Salisbury Hospital with Braxton Hicks contractions.

"I was booked in for a planned C section at 34 weeks but Henry ended up being born by emergency C section at 32 weeks because I started bleeding and had to rush to hospital.

"There was the worry of my blood vessels rupturing because of the Vasa Previa."

Ten members of Dorset County Hospital's medical staff tended to Shannon for the emergency procedure while Henry's dad Eric remained outside because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Henry was transferred to receive medical care in Portsmouth but Shannon and Eric, 23, were unable to stay overnight there so made regular trips to see him.

The ordeal became so exhausting for Shannon she ended up being admitted to the hospital in Portsmouth where she remained for a week.

Baby Henry was then transferred back to Dorchester, where Shannon and Eric are taking turns to go and visit him and caring for their son Benjamin, 1.

Dorset Echo:

Shannon said the family cannot thank hospital staff enough for the care they've been given.

"I feel so lucky that they noticed the Vasa Previa so early and gave me steroids to help Henry when he was born.

"The staff at Dorchester were amazing. They were so careful with me and Henry.

"I was so lucky it went the way it did.

"Henry is breathing on his own now and has a feeding tube but he's being taught to feed on his own. He has done amazingly well and is getting big and strong by the day."

It is hoped that Henry will be allowed to go home around the middle of July.

Dorset Echo:

Shannon said: "I'm so excited for him to come home so his big brother can meet him and for our families to meet Henry as they have just seen pictures so far.

"We're really looking forward to things going back to some sort of normal."