Echo Baby of the year winner announced
PREMATURE baby Tyreece Johnson overcame a difficult birth and has come on "leaps and bounds" to win the Echo Baby and Toddler of the Year.
More than 900 baby boys and girls were invited to have their photographs taken with their parents earlier in the year, with the winner taking away a prize of £1,000.
After all the votes were counted, seven-month-old Tyreece, from Fiddler's Green, came out on top.
His proud parents are Hayley Cooke and Robert Johnson.
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Hayley said: "He won because he is absolutely gorgeous. I think he gets his looks from his dad and me. He definitely looks like both of us.
"He's got his dad's forehead, but his eyes come a bit from both of us. I am sure he has got my nose though."
The 30-year-old, who works in nursing at Guild House Residential Home, in Gloucester, said Tyreece had to fight to survive before he was born in May this year.
"It was a huge worry when he was born premature," she said. "He was in the special baby care unit in Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for about three weeks, and had to fight even then, because he was only 3lb 10oz.
"He has gone from strength to strength, and he is getting along really well now."
His mother believes Tyreece, who is now about 20lbs, gets his fighting spirit from his parents.
She said: "I am so proud of him. I was in hospital for eight weeks before I had him, because I had a short cervix and I couldn't remain standing for long periods of time.
"My water broke, but it was only two weeks later that he was born.
"I am so proud of him. I think he gets that sort of fight from both of us, because we are both quite strong characters.
"He has been teething recently, and is almost crawling now. I am so happy to see him doing so well."
The boy will be starting nursery in the new year, with Treetops in Gloucester, which is only a short distance from where Hayley works.
She said: "It's great, because I can see him so often when I am working part time."
The two of them will be spending Christmas morning with Robert, before heading out to the family home for Christmas lunch.
She added: "We are really looking forward to spending some time with the entire family now. I just love him."