The world’s smallest newborn has been discharged from hospital after 13 months of treatment.
Kwek Yu Xuan was 24cm long and just 7.47oz, the approximate weight of an apple, when she was born by caesarean section at less than 25 weeks. She now weighs around 14 pounds.
Singapore’s National University Hospital (NUH) stated: “Against the odds, with health complications present at birth, she has inspired people around her with her perseverance and growth, which makes her an extraordinary ‘Covid-19’ baby – a ray of hope amid turmoil”.
When Yu Xuan was born, she was placed on a ventilator because her lungs were not well developed.
Her thigh was the size of a finger. Nappies covered her entire body and had to be cut by hospital staff to fit her.
Zhang Suhe, a nurse at NUH, reflected on her shock at Yu Xuan’s size saying: “In my 22 years of being a nurse, I haven’t seen such a small newborn baby.”
Yu Xuan still has chronic lung disease and will need help with her breathing, but doctors say she should improve with time.
Earlier this year, a baby who celebrated his first birthday was recognised by Guinness World Records as the most premature baby to survive.
Richard Scott William Hutchinson, born at 21 weeks and two days, weighed 11.9 ounces at birth – about one tenth of normal birth weight. He was so small that his tiny form could nestle in the palm of a hand.
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.