Emilia Grabarczyk was born prematurely via caesarean section at just 25 weeks. She’s believed to be the smallest baby to ever survive an extremely early delivery.
When she was born, in her hometown of Witten, Germany, she was just 22 centimetres in height, and weighed a remarkable eight ounces. To put that into perspective, a healthy baby at 25 weeks would weigh three times that amount. Her feet measured at just an inch a piece.
It’s been almost a year since her infamous birth – nine months, to be exact – and she’s getting stronger and stronger each day. Her current weight is 7lb, 2oz.
“Even children with a birth weight of 14 ounces rarely survive. We have to thank Emilia as well for her own survival. She is a little fighter,” said Dr. Bahman Gharavi, Head of Children and Youth Clinic at St Mary’s Hospital.
“For more than six months, it was unclear whether she would survive. Only in recent weeks she is getting more robust.”
Emilia had to be removed from her mother’s womb prematurely, or she wouldn’t have survived much longer than that 25-week mark. Obstetrician Dr. Sven Schiermeier warned Emilia’s mother Sabine that the placenta wasn’t providing the child with adequate nutrition to survive much longer; without an emergency C-section, she would have died in the womb.
The emergency procedure was successful, and despite her size, Emilia seems to be in good health, and it’s only getting better. Her premature birth did carry behavioural and learning difficulty risks, though she hasn’t shown any signs of a disability.
“There were many difficult days and many tears, but she clearly wanted to survive,” said Sabine.