Doctors nicknamed a little South African baby girl “Wonder Woman” after she survived a very premature birth.
Jazeel Hlope was born on July 21 after just 25 weeks in the womb. Extremely tiny, she weighed 395 grams (.87 pounds), and doctors thought she probably would not survive, the Daily Mail reports.
But baby Jazeel overcame her premature birth, and her family expects that she will be well enough to go home soon.
“She has been in the hospital for nearly 150 days and has gained a lot of weight and strength in that time,” her mother, Helen Sauls, said.
The Johannesburg mother said she was suffering from gestational hypertension when Jazeel arrived 15 weeks early.
Staff at Netcare Clinton Hospital said Jazeel is the youngest baby who they have ever cared for, and she stunned them all.
“She’s one of the miracles who shows us what’s possible,” said Dr Klaas Mnisia, a neonatologist at the hospital. “These days micro-premature babies have a better chance of surviving, and Jazeel is now thriving.”
The hospital staff nicknamed Jazeel “Wonder Woman” and even had a tiny superhero costume made for her, according to the report.
Now, her mother said she weighs almost 5 pounds and can drink a whole bottle in one sitting.
“I am very excited about the prospect of taking my baby home, but obviously we do not want to rush,” Sauls said.
Her miraculous survival and that of many other micro-premature babies are demonstrating how far technological advancements have come. Up until recently, doctors considered 24 weeks to be the point of viability for an unborn baby, but more and more babies are surviving earlier.
Earlier this month, the journal Pediatrics highlighted a baby girl in the United States who survived after being born 21 weeks and four days after conception. The girl, who now is 3, is believed to be the youngest premature baby to survive.
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A Duke University study published in January found babies born at just 23 weeks gestation are surviving outside the womb at a greater rate than ever before. Researchers examined 4,500 babies between 2000 and 2011 and found a “small but significant drop in fatalities for babies born between 23 and 37 weeks gestation,” as well as a decrease in premature babies manifesting with neurophysiological problems, the Daily Mail reported.
Research published in 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine also found that 23 percent of premature infants are surviving birth as early as 22 weeks. However, the study also found that some hospitals are not giving babies treatment at this early age, despite talk about pushing back the standard viability line from 24 weeks to 23.