A baby girl born four months before her due date, and one week before the UK abortion limit, has been allowed home for the first time.
Abiageal Peters was born at 23 weeks at St Peter’s hospital, Chertsey, weighing just one pound.
Doctors believe that Abiageal could be the youngest patient ever to be operated on and survive.
She was born in October 2016 and doctors soon revealed that she was suffering from a torn intestine.
Abiageal was transferred to a London hospital where she underwent ground-breaking surgery.
Paediatric surgeon Zahid Mukhtar described her as a “unique case”, saying he “couldn’t find anyone who has been operated on at that early an age and survived”.
He added that: “Her story and her recovery has been really remarkable”.
Her mother Louise believes Abiageal would have “been dead” without having the surgery.
“She was deteriorating so badly at that point. She was struggling to breathe and her skin was turning black. We knew she had a day or two left if that, if they didn’t operate”, she told The Guardian newspaper.
‘Don’t give up’
“Other mothers who have this happen to them, should know there is a chance – don’t give up, these little babies are so strong.”
Louise added, “we are so pleased with how she is doing today”.
It is currently legal in Great Britain to abort children up to 24 weeks, or up to birth if doctors believe the baby will be born with a disability.
Last year, record-breaking triplets born at 23 weeks and weighing less than a bag of sugar celebrated their second birthday.
Mother Emma Seaton described how the doctors had expected the babies not to survive, or to have serious long-term mental health issues if they did.
Two years later the identical triplets are thriving, with Emma saying that not a day goes by when she does not “think about the fact that things could have been different”.
“It’s such a positive outcome for them after everything they have been through”, she said.