He was the size of his father’s hand when he was born, but now he is a hefty six pounds.

Alexander Sheppard Junior, AJ for short, the son of Avery Laurin and Alex Sheppard is coming home to Espanola today, but still requires ongoing care.

The two have been travelling back and forth between Sudbury and Espanola since their son was born two and a half months premature on January 15th.

Avery says preemies are often born with a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity or ROP where the blood vessels in the eye don’t attach to the retina.

Avery explained that could lead to blindness and the tests are to make sure that’s not happening, so they will have to travel to Toronto’s Sick Kids every two weeks.

To help offset costs not covered by any support programs, a Go Fund Me has been set up to assist the family.

For the link to the fund, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/6s3d2pk