'He's a fighter': Baby born days before mom's death doing better than expected

Baby Sal had a tougher start to life than most babies.

Born months early and weighing a mere 1.9 pounds, Sal’s mom only got to hold him once before she died of cancer in late December.

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He never met his father, who died this past fall.

But now, at one month old and weighing 2.5 pounds, Sal is doing better than many had expected.

"They call him the miracle boy," Sal's great aunt Rose Horan-Pachota told CTV Vancouver from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

"He is so strong … he is constantly moving his arms around," she said.

Horan-Pachota plans to raise Sal and says many of his mother's friends have also offered to help.

An online fundraising campaign has raised more than $15,000 for Sal.

His mother, Breanne Smaaslet, was just over 26 weeks pregnant when she gave birth to the baby on Christmas Day.

She died five days after Sal was born.

"She loved him so much and fought with every fibre of her being," Horan-Pachota said.

She said Sal inherited his father's looks and his mother's spirit.

"They say he's a fighter," Horan-Pachota added.

With a report from CTV Vancouver


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