SARAH Smith has received the best Christmas present she could have hoped for ... three weeks early.
The Pacific Paradise mother was allowed to hold her 13-month-old son, Finn, for the first time since he was diagnosed with bacterial meningococcal on November 22.
Doctors took Finn off the ventilator that was helping him breathe at lunchtime on Tuesday, days ahead of schedule.
The toddler was also woken up from his induced coma. While he was very groggy and there are still concerns for potential brain damage and his hands and feet, the signs are positive.
"His eyes focused on mum and dad," Mrs Smith said.
Being able to cuddle their baby for the first time in nearly two weeks was very emotional for the family.
"I got to give him a cuddle. It was a little bit hard as he was attached to a few things, but being able to put him in my arms..."
"It was hoped that sometime yesterday, Mrs Smith would also get the chance to give her only child a bath."
Finn has been struggling to breathe without the ventilator and is still receiving "low oxygen".
"But he is breathing on his own, it is amazing,'' Mrs Smith said. "He looked at us on Tuesday, he focused and gave a little bit of a cry as if to say 'take me away'."
Doctors have warned the Smiths it could be months before they can rule out the possibility of brain damage.
Finn's hands and feet remain bandaged.
But Mr and Mrs Smith are focusing on the positives.
Mrs Smith was moved to tears when talking about the "amazing" generosity of the Sunshine Coast.
A joint campaign between the Sunshine Coast Daily and Hot 91.1 FM has already raised more than $20,000.
The Smiths have heard about Emily Attard, the Caloundra woman who wanted to give Finn the money a stranger offered to give her after her handbag was stolen.
They have heard about the person who found a $100 note and decided to give it to Finn.
"It is just amazing. No words we can express our gratitude,'' Mrs Smith said.
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