Born weighing just 229 grams (about the size of an orange) and 22 centimetres long, Emilia Grabarczyk has reached an incredible milestone – nine months after her birth, she has tipped the scales at 3.00 kilograms, around the average size of a newborn baby.
Come and meet the “little fighter” who has set the record for the world’s smallest baby and continues to surprise everyone and defy all medical odds through her fight for survival.
She’s been called a “medical sensation” and a “miracle”, after entering the world at 26 weeks gestation with feet the size of a fingernail. Born at a hospital in Witten, Germany, Emilia has had a whirlwind journey so far.
And she’s just getting started!
Due to complications in the womb, Emilia was not getting the nutrients she required and thus it was decided to deliver Emilia early via c-section. Prof Dr Sven Schiermeier, chief physician of obstetrics, said that Emilia would have died in the womb if they hadn’t delivered her early.
Although it was risky, there was never any doubt for Emilia’s parents, Lukas and Sabine. If delivering their daughter early meant she had even a slight chance of survival, they were going to do it.
The average baby born at 26 weeks gestation weighs around 595 grams. Little Emilia weighed less than half of that.
Dr. Bahman Gharavi, Head of Children and Youth Clinic at the hospital, credits the joint effort of paediatricians, gynaecologists and paediatric surgeons for Emilia’s journey so far. However, the person who deserves the most credit is Emilia.
“Even children with a birth weight of 14 ounces [340 grams] rarely survive. We have to thank Emilia as well for her own survival,” he said.
Before little Emilia entered the world, the record for the world’s tiniest baby was held by Rumaisa Rahman, who weighed 243 grams at birth.
The past nine months have been touch and go for the infant. She was initially fed with a tiny tube while doctors used a cotton bud soaked in sugar water to sooth her and relieve pain.
“There were many difficult days and many tears, but she clearly wanted to survive,” the mother said.
There are risks of learning difficulties and increased hyperactivity but so far there are no signs of serious disability in the little fighter. Emilia now weighs over three kilograms and is getting more robust. Hopefully Emilia will be leaving the hospital soon and embarking on the next chapter of her life at home with Mum and Dad.
This isn’t the first time we’ve reported on the incredible strength of premature infants – check out this amazing baby born at 22 weeks gestation.
(images via Stock)