A baby who was born the size of a needle at just 23 weeks has defied ‘million to one’ odds to survive.
Care worker Hanna Rose, 25, and her partner, Daniel Bownes, 27, were told by doctors on five different occasions that their baby George wouldn’t survive after he was born just a week before the abortion limit.
The tiny youngster, from Worksop, Nottinghamshire, weighed just 1lbs 5oz [700g] when he was born in July – as long as a hospital needle.
Born no bigger than a Heinz ketchup bottle, the tot went through four bouts of sepsis and meningitis , leading doctors and his parents to believe he would never make it through.
But after 26 weeks in hospital, the baby was miraculously sent home.
First-time mum Hanna said: "The doctors told us George had a one in a million chance of surviving and it was almost impossible that he’d pull through.
“I was convinced that he was going to die so it’s truly a miracle that he’s here with us.
“Each and every day we have with him is a true blessing.”
Hanna had a normal pregnancy and didn’t experience any complications.
But at 23 weeks pregnant – shortly before the legal abortion limit – she began to experience back pain.
She said: "I thought it was just bad back ache, I didn’t actually think that I could be in labour because it was so early.
"I went into the hospital and saw a doctor, but he told me that I was in labour.
"I was devastated, I was convinced that George would be born dead. I was so worried, my world fell apart."
Hanna spent four agonising days in labour before she finally gave birth to baby George at 23 weeks and six days’ gestation.
Due to George not being 24 weeks and so not having viability, Hanna claims she had no monitors during labour because there could be no medical intervention.
But despite the odds the little fighter was born ‘feisty’, although as he was so premature he was put on life support at six minutes old and immediately put into a plastic ‘sandwich bag’ in an incubator.
Hanna said: "I just didn’t think that he would survive. I didn’t want to speak to the doctors or name him in case they said it. I felt helpless.
“He was given immediate emergency surgery – we couldn’t even touch him because he was born with transparent skin.”
George, whose due date was October 31 last year, suffered from a swollen liver and lost 40 per cent of his blood in the resulting surgery to correct this.
Because he was so premature, after the op the tot developed sepsis and meningitis and his tiny body went into septic shock.
Hanna and Daniel were told that there was nothing more they could do for George and he received a final blessing from a hospital chaplain.
The parents had hoped to get George’s birth registered but doctors strongly advised them not to leave his side as they thought he had just hours left to live.
But as Hanna and Daniel were with George with what they thought would be his final moments, his miraculously condition began to improve.
The parents said staff told them they had never seen any patient with an infection marker as high as their son’s survive.
She said: “The doctor said we had only a couple of hours left.
“It was horrendous – the vicar came and blessed him and sat with him – we were told it was best to turn his life support.
“But we were reading to him and suddenly the numbers on his blood pressure were coming up, it was amazing.”
While the tiny tot faces an uncertain future as he has to rely on an oxygen tank as he’s unable to breathe unassisted, his proud parents say each and every day with George is nothing short of a blessing.
Now back at home, the George weighs almost 6lbs 2oz and despite his problems loves cuddles with his mum and dad.
Hanna and Daniel are raising money on GoFundMe to pay for George to receive physiotherapy to help improve his movement, as seventy-five per cent of his cerebellum – the part of the brain that controls movement- was damaged.
To date, the tot has had more than 20 blood transfusions and is awaiting his seventh operation which will be on his heart.
She said: "George has chronic lung disease and he can’t breathe unassisted for long periods of time.
“He has a hospital appointment every single day, and his movement is also pretty limited.
“But despite that, spending time with him has been amazing as we didn’t think he’d be here.
“After the doctors said he wouldn’t make it five times, every day is special.
“We just like to cuddle George, he’s easily pleased.
“He’s proved everyone wrong and gone against everything the professionals know.
“We believe he is going to carry on doing that and with the right help he will thrive.”
You can donate to George’s appeal here .
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