Premature Baby Born Smaller Than Her Toy Rabbit Celebrates Her First Birthday

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 15, 2019   |   1:01PM   |   London, England

When Amelia Osbourne was born, she weighed less than a bag of sugar and suffered from so many medical problems that doctors feared she would not survive.

But the British infant fought through all those struggles, and, this spring, she and her parents, Dan and Louise Osbourne, celebrated her first birthday, according to the Metro.

Last year, her mother said she went to their local hospital in Warwickshire for a check-up after she stopped feeling her unborn daughter move. Doctors discovered that she had a placental abruption, and performed an emergency cesarean section to save Amelia’s life, according to the report.

Amelia was born weighing 1 pound, 9 ounces after 26 weeks inside her mother’s womb. Shortly after she was born, her heart stopped beating, and doctors had to perform CPR to revive her, according to the report.

“We felt utter shock, we didn’t even know a baby could be born that early and survive,” her mother said. “She was tiny, we could make out her organs through her translucent skin and she had a very large hole in her heart.”

She said Amelia was smaller than a stuffed rabbit toy that someone had bough for her.

The baby girl suffered from numerous health problems, including a hole in her heart, lesions on her brain and sepsis; doctors thought she may not survive, the report states.

They transferred her to another hospital for more intensive care – a heartbreaking time for her mother.

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“My instinct was to discharge myself and run to the other hospital to be with her, as that time was so precious and a mother’s instinct is to be with their baby, but luckily Dan stayed with her until I could make it,” Louise said.

But Amelia fought through every struggle. After 94 days, she finally grew well enough to go home, her parents said.

This spring, her parents said they are so grateful to the hospital staff for saving their daughter’s life.

“We’ve just celebrated her first birthday, something we didn’t think we would be able to do, but we are positive people and always hoped for the best,” her mother said.

Premature babies are surviving at a greater rate than ever before thanks to modern medical advancements. The earliest known premature baby to survive outside the womb was born at 21 weeks and four days of pregnancy. In 2017, the journal Pediatrics highlighted the girl’s survival story. She was 3 at the time of the article’s publication.

A Duke University study published in 2017 reported that babies born at just 23 weeks 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 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 as early as 22 weeks of pregnancy. However, the study also found that some hospitals do not treat babies at this early age.