'Miracle baby' celebrating 10th birthday after being born with webbed fingers and hands

By Megan Archer | Bilston | News | Published:

When he was born three and a half months early, baby Ruben weighed 1lb and 9oz, his eyes were still fused shut and his ears folded inwards.

Ruben Murphy, pictured with mum Laura, is celebrating his 10th birthday

Ruben Murphy was born weighing a tiny 1lb and 9oz – less than a bag of sugar – and doctors didn’t think he would survive.

Born three and a half months early after his mother suffered appendicitis during pregnancy, his eyes were still fused shut, his ears folded inwards, and his fingers and toes were webbed.

But despite the odds being against him, brave Ruben from Bilston overcame all and survived.

He went home after five long months in New Cross Hospital’s neo-natal unit and and will be celebrating his 10th birthday today.

His mother, Laura Campbell, calls him her ‘little miracle baby’.

She said: “Ruben has overcome a lot of things. He was on life support until he was eight weeks.

"At one point they were going to switch off life support but then he started breathing on his own.

“He was so strong though. There were a few occasions where they told us he might not have a chance, that he might have cerebral palsy, or be brain damaged, but he bounced back.


“I never lost faith in him.”

Ruben had to have a number of operations to help him when he was born.

Doctors placed him in an incubator to help him finish ‘growing’ but then he needed laser eye surgery to help him see.

Before he was two years old he had to have his skull operated on so his brain had room to grow.


But today, he is just ‘a normal little boy’, and his family – including dad Joe and step-dad Hamadi – are excited to celebrate their tiny man coming so far in life.

Laura, age 27, added: “His only challenge now is that he suffers from autism, but he takes it all in his stride, he’s such a brave little boy.

“He still goes to physio but that’s nothing to what we thought we’d face 10 years ago.”

A senior support worker at Coton Care Home in Goldthorn Park, Laura was just 17-years-old when she had her son, and said it was like nothing she ever thought she would face.

“Every single day we spent with him at the hospital. I kept everything from when he was little, ventilator hats, wires, as a memory of what he’s been through,” added Laura.

“The hospital doted on him, they even had a little celebration for him when he had been there 100 days. There were brilliant, and so supportive.

“It’s always been a journey with Ruben. He fit in the palm of my hand.

“It’s such a story of sadness and happiness.

“It’s not like anything I thought I’d face. but i just got on with it, it wasn’t until I got home after the five months that I suddenly thought about what we’d been through.”

Ruben now attends Hill Avenue Academy in Lanesfield and will be attending high school in just 18 months.

He loves computer games, storytelling, science, and helping look after younger siblings Joshua, six, and Amya, three.

For his birthday he will be celebrating with a family party and by going swimming.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Deputy Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Deputy Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email


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