Some of the smallest babies ever to survive, these little fighters are medical miracles. These smallest babies show how precious life is.
All babies have the ability to inspire a sense of wonder. The fact that a tiny little human has just come into the world, and will go on to live and love and laugh and learn – that’s amazing, no matter who the baby is.
What’s even more extraordinary, though, are those little babies born far too soon, who defy the odds to survive and grow into children.
Some of the smallest babies in this gallery were no longer than a ball-point pen, weighing no more than a can of soup when they were born, and yet, miraculously, they survived. These babies went on to take their first steps, say their first words and keep their eternally grateful parents up all night like any other normal babies would.
While most were given little to no chance of survival by doctors, these little battlers not only survived, but thrived. Even though some have lasting developmental difficulties or suffer with lungs that are not quite strong enough, the fact that they are here and happy is a miracle to be celebrated.
Take a look through the gallery yourself – it’s pretty amazing.
Amillia Taylor is the world’s youngest premature baby ever to survive, and was born at just 21 weeks and six days into her gestation, which was two weeks before the legal abortion cut off at the time in the US. Weighing 280g, with paper-thin skin, Amillia was just longer than a pen. Mum Sonja went into early labour at 19 weeks and doctors tried to keep her from having her baby as long as possible. Knowing the doctors wouldn’t even try to save her baby unless it was 24 weeks along, Sonja told a white lie to the doctors, letting them believe that baby Amillia was two weeks further along than she actually was. This meant that at just 21 weeks and six days, when Sonja couldn’t hold on any longer, doctors did everything they could to save Amillia, who they believed was just one day short of the 24-week limit. Amillia was able to go home eleven days before her original due date, with the help of oxygen for her still-developing lungs.
Elora De Bondi is the smallest baby in Australia ever to survive, and the fact that she did so shocked and amazed doctors, who told her mum Adele that there was ‘no chance’ that the tot would make it after complications caused her to be born after only 24 weeks in the womb. After being urged to turn off Elora’s life support when she suffered complications with her lungs and kidneys, and several staph infections, Adele refused, and was able to take Elora home at 4.4kg, seven months after her birth.
Born weighing just 1lb, 6oz (623g), little Esme Poulson was given just a one percent chance of survival. Because her mum was so ill, and she was in such a serious condition, mother and baby could not see each other for two agonising days. Little Esme has astounded doctors, however, by going from strength to strength and being able to be released from hospital. While she is battling lung problems and feeding issues because of her premmie birth, doctors believe she will grow into a healthy child.
Aaliyah Hart was born almost three months early, and weighed only 12oz (340g), making her the smallest baby ever to survive at the time. Despite doctors only giving her a one percent chance of survival, Aaliyah is now ten years old, a healthy size and weight (if on the small side) and is the captain of her school’s soccer team!
Rachel Blythin and her sister, Evelyn were both born prematurely via emergency c-section at only 28 weeks, but due to complications that had occurred through the pregnancy, Rachel weighed only 330g, compared to Evelyn’s (still tiny) 1.2kg. After a touch-and-go few months, Evelyn was able to go home in August of 2013, with sister Rachel joining her in October. Both girls are doing well.
Alex Franks was the second-youngest surviving premmie on record, born at just 21 weeks and six days and weighing only 460g. When he was born, everyone, including his parents and the doctors, thought he was dead, until his dad, while holding him, realised he was breathing. He was quickly rushed away and intubated, and though he struggled for nearly a year through operations and lung disease in hospital, was finally able to come home. Thirteen years later, Alex is a happy young man, who plays soccer and is, amazingly, currently training for a trek to Nicaragua! While suffering from some reduced lung capacity, Alex is the same inspirational little fighter he was from day one. Image: Supplied
Faith Massey was born almost four months early and weighed less than a loaf of bread. Her mum Marie was on the train to work when she felt like something was wrong, but it wasn’t until she got to work that a colleague suggested she might be in labour – and things got really scary. After a very quick delivery, little Faith was born, and was whisked away by doctors who told Marie it was very unlikely she would survive, being only 23 weeks. Amazingly, Faith was able to be released from hospital nearly four months after her birth with no structural damage to her brain, and without requiring major surgery. Although doctors will still monitor the little one for years to come, Faith really is a little miracle.