'Today is special': Brave Calliope bub smashing her milestones

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Ben, Maddison and Sophie Saul.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Ben, Maddison and Sophie Saul. Mike Richards GLA220917PREM

FOR Sophie Saul, every milestone for her cheeky one-year-old Maddison is a miracle.

Her third daughter was born on September 22 last year, 16 weeks earlier than expected, weighing 510 grams. But today the four-month Mater Mother's Hospital stay, ongoing tests and fears for Maddison's future, will only be memories, as they celebrate her first birthday.

The celebration is also for her dad Ben, who shares the same birthday as Maddison, and her two older sisters Ella and Indee. Ella turns six on September 28, and Indee two on the 30th.

Sophie said the birthday milestone followed a string of others, including in July when Maddison gained enough strength to be without her oxygen support tank.

"Today is special, because of where she's come from and what she's been through,” she said. "You just take it day by day, but every milestone is a miracle.”

Sophie said it was incredible to watch Maddison's personality blossom.

"She's doing things for herself, she's almost crawling and she's very cheeky,” she said.

The next test for Maddison will come when she is two-years-old and doctors can determine if she has cerebral palsy, which is common for children born premature. But Sophie remains confident as Maddison continues to leave doctors stunned.

Next month Sophie, Ben and their three daughters will take part in the Brisbane Walk for Prems. Their goal is to raise $3000 for the Life's Little Treasures Foundation. For information visit The Journey of Maddison Jade Saul Facebook page.

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