A California hospital on Wednesday disclosed the birth of the world’s smallest baby ever to survive, weighing a mere 245 grams (8.6 ounces) — the same as a large apple — when she was born.
The girl, nicknamed Saybie by hospital staff, was born 23 weeks and three days into her mother’s pregnancy at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns in San Diego.The father was told by doctors that he would have about an hour with his daughter before she passed away.
“But that hour turned into two hours which turned into a day, which turned into a week,” the mother said in a video released by the hospital.
Doctors said Saybie was delivered via emergency cesarean section in December after severe pregnancy complications that put her mother’s life at risk.
After nearly five months at the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, she was discharged home earlier this month weighing a healthy five pounds and sporting a graduation cap.“She is a miracle, that’s for sure,” said Kim Norby, one of the nurses who cared for Saybie as she fought to survive with a sign that read “tiny but mighty” posted by her crib.
Emma Wiest, another nurse, said Saybie was so tiny at birth that “you could barely see her on the bed.”
At birth, she weighed as much as a child’s juice box and could fit in the palm of the hands of her caretakers.
“I’d heard that we had such a tiny baby and it sounded unbelievable because I mean she’s about half of the weight as a normal 23-weaker,” Wiest said.
Saybie’s ranking as the world’s tiniest baby ever to survive is according to the Tiniest Babies Registry, maintained by the University of Iowa.
The previous record was held by a baby born in Germany in 2015 who weighed seven grams more than Saybie.
“Every life is a miracle — those that defy the odds even more so,” Edward Bell, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa who oversees the Registry, told AFP.