Baby born at 23 weeks can go home next month

A baby who was given just a three per cent chance of survival has astounded doctors by beating the odds during lockdown.

Born at just 23 weeks, Oliver-Cash Lowther-Ryan weighed just 1lb 3oz at birth, and he was so delicate that his parents had to wait nine weeks before they could hold him.

In the UK, it is legal to have an abortion for most reasons up to 24 weeks, or up to birth when the unborn child is thought to have a disability.


Now three months old, Oliver-Cash has battled sepsis, had an inch of his bowel removed, and survived two operations on his heart valve.

Dad Ethan said: “We always knew it would be tricky when he arrived so early. But just after he was born he let out a little cry and the nurse said, ‘We’ve got a fighter on our hands’.”

Mum Frances praised the “incredible doctors and nurses” and said that when she held her son for the first time, “It was beyond words, to finally be able to bond as mum and baby. The wave of love I felt was just incredible.”

Oliver-Cash is expected to be able to leave the hospital at the end of July.


In May, a baby born even earlier at just 22 weeks and two days was also allowed to go home.

Weighing just 1lb 2oz when she was born, Lilly Menear was expected to die shortly after birth, but after five months in hospital she was permitted to go home.

The tiny girl suffered three infections while in a neonatal intensive care unit, as well as a bleed on the brain and a distended intestine which required major surgery, but she is now on the mend.


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