A child born at 22 weeks in Singapore is now a thriving five-year-old.
Chelsea Kiew, who weighed just 510g at birth, spent more than five months in hospital before receiving a further nine months of respiratory support due to chronic lung disease.
But although doctors gave her almost no hope of survival at birth, she has overcome all conditions related to her prematurity except from a small hole in her heart which is being monitored.
Chelsea’s parents said she is an independent child who loves to sing, draw and dance.
Dad Raymond explained: “She’s very sensible, like she can see when I come back from office looking tired, and she’ll cover me with a blanket”.
He added: “We don’t see any impact from the hole in her heart. She can still run about, take part in all activities, depending on her mood.”
Catherine Robinson, Right To Life UK spokeswoman, commented: “Chelsea’s amazing journey from her very premature birth and medical challenges to now living with no major health issues speaks to her resilience. The improved survival rate for extremely premature babies is a constant reminder of just how backward our abortion laws are.”
Abortion in Britain is legal for most reasons up to 24 weeks, and is available up to birth for children deemed to have a disability.
Last year, a study found that the proportion of 22-week-old babies surviving after being discharged from neonatal care units in England and Wales rose after services were expanded.
Researchers from the University of Leicester and Imperial College London analysed the impact of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine’s 2019 guidance, recommending doctors give “survival focused care” to 22-week-old babies instead of only those born at 23 weeks and later.
The academics found that of babies who were alive when their mothers entered labour at 22 weeks, the percentage who received care rose from 11.3 per cent in 2018-2019 to 38.4 per cent in 2020-21. Although the numbers remain small, the percentage discharged from neonatal care rose from 2.5 per cent to 8.2 per cent.