A five-year-old boy who has spent almost his entire life on a ventilator has left hospital to spend his first Christmas at home.
Oscar Edgar has been a patient at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow since his birth in April 2015.
He is unable to eat or speak and was ventilated until he was four-and-a-half due to an undiagnosed neurological, muscular and respiratory condition.
The youngster left the hospital on Thursday to applause from staff.
His mother Megan, 23, said spending Christmas at home with her boy, who recently learned to walk, will be “like a dream come true”.
She said: “Everyone in that hospital loves Oscar and he loves all of them.
“From the doctors and nurses to the cleaners and catering staff – even the staff in the shops know Oscar because we’ve been there so long. It took us two hours to go round everyone and say goodbye.
“We honestly thought the day would never come. Oscar’s had the last rites on more than one occasion and the staff were there to support me every time. So now, to get him home a week before Christmas is like a dream come true.”
She said she is looking forward to spending a first Christmas Eve with Oscar at home with his little brother Theo, 21 months, and opening presents together.
Ms Edgar added the staff at the hospital had become like family over the years.
“I was 17 when I had Oscar and I didn’t even know what a disabled person was. The hospital was my home too for eight months in 2017,” she said.
“I have grown with Oscar and I’m now able to operate all sorts of medical machinery. They made all that possible.
“On the difficult days they were there to offer not just care, but cuddles and always made sure I had eaten and drank enough. They always had time to speak to me about how I was feeling.”
She added that Oscar’s little brother is looking forward to having him home.
“On the few nights we’ve had him home for visits, Theo’s been climbing out of his cot to snuggle in with Oscar in his bed,” she said.
“He really misses him when he goes back into hospital so it will be lovely to be here and be settled together.”
Senior charge nurse Eleanor Selkirk said Oscar had a number of firsts in his hospital home.
She said: “First sign language, often teaching us all along the way, his first steps, his first expression, his first day at nursery and then school, his first ‘rave’ and his first sibling – when he became a big brother to Theo.”
She said Oscar has been part of the family at the hospital, adding: “We are all going to miss him very much.”
Dr Phil Davies, consultant in paediatric respiratory medicine at the hospital, said Oscar’s journey had been “long and complex”.
He said: “Oscar has had a significant muscle weakness from just a few months of age and has needed a tracheostomy and a ventilator for most of his life to support his breathing.
“It has not only been a delight to see him make medical progress and be able to breathe by himself, but also to see his cheeky personality develop.
“I wish Oscar and his family all the very best as they move into the next exciting phase of their lives.”