A little girl born with feet the size of a fingernail is being hailed as the world’s smallest surviving premature baby.
Her tiny foot was only 1.2 inches (3cm) long.
In comparison, a large banana weighs about 7 ounces while an orange is 6 ounces.
Doctors have described her as the “little fighter” and her survival as a “medical sensation” while German media said she was the lightest premature baby ever born in the world.
The early birth was followed by a period of uncertainty. Emilia was born so early that it led to subsequent complications.
There was an increased risk of hyperactivity and learning difficulties. Emilia even survived abdominal surgery at a weight of just 12 ounces.
Yet luckily for the girl, there are no signs of serious disability.
She was initially fed with a tiny tube. The doctors used a cotton bud soaked in sugar water to soothe her and relieve pains.
Her birth at the Maria Hospital came after doctors decided with her parents Lukas, 34, and Sabine, 30, to deliver the baby by Caesarean section at the 26th week of pregnancy.
The record for the smallest baby was said to be held by Rumaisa Rahman, who was born in the Loyola University Medical Centre in the US city of Chicago in 2004 when her mum was only 25 weeks pregnant.
At birth, Rumaisa was 8 inches tall and weighed 8.6 ounces.
Professor Dr Sven Schiermeier, chief physician of obstetrics, said that Emilia would have died in the womb if they hadn’t delivered her early as the placenta was not sufficient for her nutrition.
For comparison, the doctor said that usually a foetus in the 26th week of pregnancy would have weighed around 21 ounces.
For Lukas and Sabine, there was no question as to whether they would give the child a chance even if the odds for survival were low.
“There were many difficult days and many tears, but she clearly wanted to survive,” the mother said.
Right now, Emilia weighs 106 ounces and seems to be in much better physical condition.
Dr. Bahman Gharavi, Head of Children and Youth Clinic at the hospital, said the Emilia’s birth was truly unique.
The doctor said that the survival of the baby was only possible thanks to the joint effort of paediatricians, gynaecologists and paediatric surgeons.
“Even children with a birth weight of 14 ounces rarely survive. We have to thank Emilia as well for her own survival,” he said.
“She is a little fighter.
“For more than six months, it was unclear whether she would survive. Only in recent weeks she is getting more robust.”
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