Her minuscule feet poking pathetically through a doctor’s fingers, few believed that she could possibly live. Born only 21 weeks and six days after conception, Amillia Taylor weighed just under 10oz and was only 91/2 inches long.
Medical staff, however, were given a clue to her fighting spirit when the tiny scrap tried to cry and breathe on her own.
And now, four months later and weighing 4lb, she has been allowed home – the world’s most premature baby to have survived.
Her parents Sonja and Eddie, from Homestead, Florida, were visiting friends in Miami when Mrs Taylor went into labour at just over 19 weeks pregnant, having conceived by IVF.
Doctors attempted to delay the birth but eventually were forced to carry out an emergency caesarean. Dr Guillermo Lievano, who delivered Amillia, said he was not expecting her to survive.
“I was prepared for the worst and prepared to break the bad news to the mother.”
Amillia responded to treatment, however. During two months in an incubator, she even had plastic surgery after her left ear was partially torn off during the delivery.
“I’m still in amazement,” said Mrs Taylor, 37, a teacher. “I wanted her to have a chance and I knew in my heart that she was going to make it.
William Smalling, neo-natologist at Baptist Children’s Hospital in Miami, said: “She’s truly a miracle baby. We didn’t even know what a normal blood pressure is for a baby this small.”
The American Association of Pediatrics says that babies born at less than 23 weeks of age and 400g in weight are not considered viable. The survival rate for a child born at 23 weeks and weighing a pound is just 30 per cent.
Dr Smalling said: “It may be that we need to reconsider our standard for viability in light of Amillia’s case.”
He said: “Over the years, the technology that we have available to save these premature babies has improved dramatically. Today, we can save babies that would have never survived 10 years ago.”
Amillia is going home today and we wish her parents GOOD LUCK!! Enjoy your baby without all of the bells going off, and nurses watching over you.
Amillia’s incredible story will reignite the debate over Britain’s abortion laws, which campaigners say must be updated in the light of recent medical advances.
Babies can still be aborted for non-medical reasons at up to 24 weeks. Recent evidence shows that, of those born at 25 weeks, half of them manage to live.
Can you believe that there is a doctor out there that would abort a baby at 24 weeks??? I am in SHOCK!! What a sour way to end a great story.