Theo Taylor could have been aborted just a day before he was born. But because his mother chose life, he now is being celebrated as the smallest baby ever to survive in England.
News Australia reports Theo was born on March 15 weighing just 340 grams (12 ounces) – about the same as a can of Coke.
“I had never ever seen a baby that small – I didn’t know babies could be that small,” his father, Jay Taylor, told reporters. “I kept saying to Katie that everything would be OK and he would be fine. But it wasn’t until I saw him that I realized how serious things were. I think that was the most scared I have ever been.”
The Sun reports six-month-old Theo is doing well at home with his family.
His mother, Katie Rhodes, of Durham, said doctors repeatedly warned her that Theo probably would die in the womb. She did not explain the specific health problems, but she said doctors suggested that she abort him just one day before he was born.
“Before he was born, it was really hard hearing all the time that he wasn’t going to make it, and even when he was born that we might not get to take him home,” she said. “… right up until the day before he was born, we were offered an abortion.
“But we got through it by saying, ‘no, he’s made it this far, let’s just support him.’ We were so positive and kept saying that we would fight for him,” she continued.
Here’s more from News Australia:
Theo had stopped growing in his mother’s womb at 19 weeks, prompting doctors to offer Katie an abortion the day before he was born.
Even after he was born, the couple were warned tiny Theo may not survive long enough to go home.
They touched his fragile hand for a few seconds before he was taken away to be put on a breathing machine.
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But the mini man beat the odds and was moved to a lower dependency ward at Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne seven weeks later.
He was sent home on July 7 after an operation to repair a hernia.
Theo still takes doses of nasal oxygen but doctors don’t believe will suffer any more complications.
More premature babies are surviving outside the womb at earlier stages than ever before. In 2017, 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.
Research published in 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine also found that 23 percent of premature infants are surviving as early as 22 weeks of pregnancy. However, the study also found that some hospitals do not treat babies at this early age.