Britains Youngest Surviving Preemie Thriving at 10 Years Old

by in Amazing Baby Story

Will Goddard, who is thought to be Britain’s most premature surviving baby, arrived on February 14th 1998 at just 22 weeks 3 days gestation.

Doctors held out so little hope for him that he was given no medical treatment for the first 36 hours.

Instead his mother, Liz, was allowed to hold him in her arms as they waited for the end.

“When I went in to hospital the consultant did an internal examination and said the baby was dead. But they kept me in because at that stage – 22 weeks – you have to deliver the baby dead or alive,” she recounts.

On arrival, Will, who weighed just 1 lb 4oz, was placed in a basket and taken away.

“The midwife covered him over and was more concerned with me and delivering the placenta. Then he made a noise and she asked if I wanted to hold him, which I did. I held him for seven hours in the delivery suite with no intervention as we waited for him to die,” said Miss Goddard, a secondary school teacher.

For the first few hours Will lay motionless but after 36 hours his condition began to deteriorate.

Amazed that he had survived so long, an emergency meeting of senior hospital figures decided to begin treating him.

During the four months he remained in hospital, Will overcame kidney failure, and was on oxygen for his first six months.

Until he began school at five, Will was small for his age and reached most of his milestones, such as speaking, later than his peers.

Now “he’s at the top end of his class for reading and is learning to speak Mandarin. He likes doing more academic things like languages, learning about the world and travel.”

Sometimes I get criticized for posting stories that are not the norm. Not every baby born at 22 weeks will survive and grow up to be an unbelievable kid. In fact, only a small percentage will have the chance of surviving and of those that survive, an even smaller number will grow up to have no lasting effects of their early arrival.

With that being said, it is possible and any parent who is in this situation should know this. Regardless of what other babies have done. Every baby is their own person with their own will to live. If this story give just one parent, who has a baby in the hospital, hope than covering this story was the right thing to do. Sometimes parents who hope, give their kids hope too!

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SOURCE *stock photo*

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About the Author

SAHM of 2 boys and founder of, World Traveled Family and The World We Share. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

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