A family in India recently welcomed home their “real-life miracle” baby girl despite being born so prematurely that doctors thought she would never survive.
Manushi is believed to be one of the smallest premature babies in the world to survive. The Daily Star reports she was born weighing 0.88 pounds and measuring 8.6 inches; her mother, Seeta, was 28 weeks pregnant at the time.
The smallest baby ever believed to have survived thus far is Emilia Grabarczyk of Germany. She was born weighing just 8 ounces and measuring 8.7 inches.
Doctors at the Jivanta Children’s Hospital in Rajasthan, India recently deemed Manushi well enough to go home. She now weighs about 5.2 pounds, according to the report.
Her parents describe her as a “real-life” miracle.
“She’s just fought and fought and fought against all the odds, but she’s made it,” they said.
Here’s more from the report:
Mum Seeta suffered dangerously high blood pressure during her pregnancy with an ultrasound revealing an absence of blood flow to the foetus.
Manushi arrived early by an emergency C-section in Rajasthan, after her mum Seeta’s blood pressure rocketed, putting her life in danger.
The tiny tot was born struggling to breathe and with underdeveloped lungs, heart, brain and kidneys.
She also had paper-thin skin and was given a 0.5% chance of survival.
The hospital waved most of the family’s medical costs because of their low income, according to the report. The doctors who cared for Manushi said they hope her life will make a statement to the Indian society about the value of girls.
“We decided to save the life of the baby and offer her necessary medical care and attention because we wanted to send out a message that a girl child must be protected,” said Dr. Sunil Janged, director of the hospital. “In a state like Rajasthan where female infanticide is rampant, people have to come forward and take step to end this evil practice.”
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The targeting of unborn girls for sex-selection abortions and infanticide has become a national crisis in India, with a severely male-skewed population. Sex selection abortions are illegal in India and government leaders have been working to crack down on the practice; but unborn girls continue to be targeted.
The gender imbalance in India is one of the worst in the world. The 2011 India census data indicates there were 914 girls for every 1,000 boys under age 7, according to the BBC. In some parts of the country, the population imbalance was even worse. In the state of Tiruvannamalai, men outnumbered women at a ratio of 1,000 to 878.
Fortunately, hospitals like the one that cared for Manushi, government leaders and others are working to end the discrimination and promote the value of girls.