A baby born via emergency C-section after 25 weeks, weighing just 11oz, is thought to be the smallest baby to survive in the UK.
Tiny 325g Hannah Stibbles was born on December 30, 2021, and before delivering her, doctors warned mum Ellie Patton, 17, and dad Brandon, 21, that their baby had 'next-to-no chance of survival' and would need to be immediately resuscitated after birth.
However, the incredible tot, who fits into the palm of her mother's hand, defied all expectation and was born breathing on her own and did not need to be revived.
Previously the smallest baby girl to survive in Britain was Aaliyah Hart who was born weighing 12oz in 2003. And the smallest baby boy on UK record is Frankie Thomson who weighed 368grams – or 13oz – at birth.
Speaking exclusively with the Daily Record, Ellie said: "We are so proud of her. She came out fighting for her life and proved everyone wrong. She is a wee smasher."
Ellie began to realise her baby was struggling inside the womb when, during her 20-week scan medics informed her that the placenta was not feeding baby Hannah properly.
Doctors monitored the teenager for the following few weeks, but on December 29 Ellie was taken to Crosshouse Hospital in Kimarnock after feeling unwell with stomach pains.
She was diagnosed with preeclampsia, a dangerous condition which raises a woman's blood pressure and can cause damage to the liver and kidneys and can sometimes be fatal.
Doctors told the couple the only option was to transfer Ellie to Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in Glasgow for specialists to deliver their baby at 25 weeks – but said she would likely not survive.
Hannah arrived at 1.04am on December 30 in QEH and began fighting for her life.
Proud dad Brandon said: "It was made very clear to us that there was no hope for her at all.
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"They prepared us completely for the worst, telling us they would need to resuscitate her and then said they would focus on making sure Ellie was OK."
Ellie said: "As soon as she was born they took her to NICU but she didn't need to be resuscitated so that gave us hope straight away. We knew she was a fighter."
Since then baby Hannah has gone from strength to strength. Brain and heart scans have shown no abnormalities and she is being fed vitamins through a tube and has even managed some of her mother's breastmilk – helping her to gain 25grams.
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She is wrapped in bubble wrap daily to keep her warm and needs medication to help her lungs develop.
The couple are now hoping Hannah will soon get to 500grams so she can be moved to their local hospital in Kilmarnock and one step closer to coming home with them to Newmilns in East Ayrshire.
Ellie added: "We are just taking one day at a time. So the first aim is to get Hannah to Crosshouse then our next aim is to get her home. "She seems determined to get there with us."
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