SHE is the brave little fighter whose life has been saved FIVE times in just 12 months.

Lily Harvey has spent four months of her 18-month life in Southampton General Hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

The medical team have battled to keep her alive on five separate occasions. To say thank you, Lily’s parents and staff from the youngster’s nursery in Eastleigh have joined forces to raise cash for the unit.

Lily did not wake up for four days after her induced birth in Winchester and spent 72 hours in a special cooling jacket to prevent brain damage.

Mum Jyoti, of Maldon Close, Bishopstoke, said: “It was agony – we did not know whether she was going to be OK or whether she would be in a vegetative state forever.

“Then one day she started to yawn and babble – it was an absolute miracle.”

Lily still has health problems and cannot swallow properly.

The youngster is fed through a tube in to her stomach.

Her anxious mum – and dad Darren, a construction manager – have spent sleepless nights knowing Lily’s health is capable of sudden deterioration.

Her condition means that she will stop breathing without warning and is also more susceptible to lung infections.

Jyoti, a 39-year-old yoga instructor, said: “It is very frightening. The maximum amount of time she has been out of hospital is 11 weeks so we are still always on high alert.

“The PICU team have been fantastic the whole way through. She is often one-to-one with a nurse for 24 hours and they constantly monitor her.

“Lily is a massive little fighter.

There were so many times when we did not know whether she was going to come through – but each time she did.”

The family have received huge support from The Trees Day Care Nursery in Eastleigh who agreed to take Lily on despite her complex medical requirements.

The help has proved invaluable for Darren, 43, and Jyoti.

Staff were so touched by the youngster’s story that they agreed to hold a “Butterfly Ball”

event to raise money for the Southampton-based unit.

The event took place at Eastleigh Football Club at the weekend and was attended by 150 friends and family, raising around £2,000 for the PICU through a raffle with prizes including Saints shirts signed by Jack Cork and Jay Rodriguez.

Jyoti added: “It was such a great event. The unit changed our lives and it was just a moment for them because they do so much work to help people.”

Trees manager Vicky Hobbs said: “Lily is a very happy and content little girl who always puts a smile on everyone’s face."