A premature baby, born a few days below the abortion limit and weighing less than a pound, has been allowed to go home eight months later.
Tiny Freya-Grace Barrett was born at 23 weeks and two days when her mother went into premature labour, but her twin sister did not survive.
Her mother, Liz Barrett, said: “It’s just fantastic Freya-Grace is home and putting on weight every day.”
Liz and her husband Jeff were devastated when their other twin daughter, Mollie, died just two days after she was born.
But they were amazed that Freya-Grace, who was the smaller of the twins, refused to give up the fight for survival, despite weighing only 13oz at birth.
Over the past eight months, the little girl has had nine blood transfusions, a plasma transfusion and a delicate heart valve operation.
And doctors are hopeful that she will go on to lead a normal life.
“She already brings us so much joy and her fighting spirit has got her through”, her mother said.
She and her husband kept a 24-hour cotside vigil, taking it in turns to be with their baby girl.
The little girl was allowed home from hospital yesterday to the Barretts’ home in Deri, South Wales with an oxygen supply to strengthen her lungs.
Liz, who is a customer service adviser, said that she and her husband were “shocked that Freya had survived”, as she had been the smaller of the twins.
“We thought the doctors had made a mistake – we thought Mollie was going to live”, she added.
“When I saw Freya, she reminded me of cooked chicken. She was so small. Her skin was shiny, you could almost see straight through her”.
“It was horrible to see her hooked up to all these wires”, she added. “I wanted to hold her but she was too fragile to touch.”
But Liz said her brave little girl is living proof that babies are viable at 23 weeks.
“She’s a determined little girl”, she said. “She’s already pulling herself up and arching her back. She’s so strong”.
“I’m just so grateful she’s still here”.