Parents of a baby thought to be the smallest to survive in the UK, weighing just 11oz, have told how she is a “ғɪɢʜᴛer” and they were given little hope she would live.
Tiny Hannah Stibbles was born by emergency C-section when her mum Ellie Paton, 17, was just 25 weeks Pʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ on December 30. Ellie and dad Brandon, 21, were told that their baby had “next-to-no chance of survival” and would need to be immediately resuscitated after birth. But the tot defied all expectations and was born breathing on her own, weighing just 325g – 11oz, and did not need to be revived.
She is now believed to be the smallest baby to survive in the UK and fits into the palm of her teenage mother’s hand. Previously the smallest baby Gɪʀʟ to survive in Britain is recorded as Aaliyah Hart who was born weighing 12oz in 2003, and the smallest baby Bᴏʏ is Frankie Thomson who weighed 13oz. The world’s smallest baby, a Bᴏʏ, was born last August in Tokyo weighing just 9.45oz.
Ellie said: “We are so proud of her. She came out ғɪɢʜᴛing for her life and proved everyone wrong. She is a wee smasher.”
Ellie began to realise her baby was struggling inside the Wᴏᴍʙ 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, and on December 29, Ellie was taken to Crosshouse Hospital in Kimarnock after feeling unwell with stomach pains.
She was diagnosed with preeclampsia – a ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs condition which raises a wOᴍᴀɴ’s ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ pressure and can cause ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢᴇ 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 ғɪɢʜᴛing for her life.
Proud dad Brandon said: “It was made very clear to us that there was no hope for her at all. 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 okay.
Babies born under 400grams are given just a 25 percent chance of survival, before Hannah was born doctors gave her just a 20 percent chance.
“There were five doctors in the room and all of them were telling us she would very likely die. They said she only had a 20% chance of survival because she was so small.”
But the plucky tot seemed determined to Bᴇᴀᴛ those Oᴅᴅs and was born breathing on her own.
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 ғɪɢʜᴛer.”
Since then baby Hannah has gone from strength to strength. Brain and heart scans have shown no abnorMᴀʟɪties and she is being fed vitamins through a tube and has even managed some of her mother’s breastmilk – helping her to gain 25grams.
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 ᴄʟᴏsᴇr 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.”