He was bathed in a kidney dish and wore a handkerchief as a nappy.
In 1992, Jonathan Heeley became known as the “Coke can kid” due to his birthweight of 374g.
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He was born 12 weeks premature, by cesarean after a scan revealed he was suffering restrictions to his ability to grown in his mother Gail’s womb.
Give just a 5 per cent chance of survival, the tiny baby initially lost weight after his birth.
But he was a “fighter” – and was supported by a team of determined medical professionals at Brisbane’s Mater Mothers’ Hospital.
“They can remember the uniqueness of him – how little he was, how much of a fighter he was,” the hospital’s neonatology director and paediatrician Pita Birch told 7NEWS.
“And they all felt they were on the edge of something special, really at the border of what we could do in neonatal care 30 years ago.
“I’m not surprised they managed to achieve what they achieved. But what they did in those days is remarkable.
“He’s left an imprint on the medical and nursing staff who cared for him.”
Heeley was at the time Australia’s smallest surviving premature baby – and he still holds that title for the Mater Mothers’ Hospital.
But the medical feats of his survival are only part of the story.
As Heeley prepares to celebrate his 30th birthday next month, he lives a happy and healthy life.
He owns a home in Hervey Bay and is in a long-term relationship.
And he’s turned his passion for dance into a career, operating his own school, Hervey Bay Dance School, while also working as a senior theatre technician at the Brolga Theatre in Maryborough.
“I’m really grateful to be here and doing what I’m doing,” he told 7NEWS.
“With that slim chance of survival, it’s amazing that I’ve been able to come so far in life.
“It’s definitely shaped me into the person I am today.
“I’m quite motivated because of that. I try to live life to the fullest and take everyday as it comes.
“I’m really determined with what I do and what I want to do in life.”