Premature baby girl given 5% chance of survival defies the odds
A premature baby girl had to be delivered prematurely by emergency caesarean after complications at 24 weeks, weighing just 12oz (340g), leaving doctors to fear the worst. Kym Brown became pregnant in December 2018 but discovered she had pre-eclampsia, a condition that can be fatal for both mother and baby. A scan at 21 weeks showed that Kym’s baby girl had stopped growing and when her heart rate began dropping doctors carried out the caesarean.
With hands smaller than 1p coins, Isabella Evans was the smallest premature baby to be born in the UK, in over 15 years, at her birth on 14 June 2018. Isabella was given just a 5% chance of survival.
However, Isabella has defied the odds and is now thriving at home with her parents, Kym and Ryan.
For the first week, after Isabella was born, she was placed in bubble wrap to keep her warm and an incubator to help her breathe. Her parents could only hold their daughter in blankets for five minutes at a time. And, at just three-weeks-old, the ‘little fighter’ underwent two life-saving operations including surgery for a ruptured bowel as well as laser surgery on her eyes.
Isabella refused to give in and fought for six months in order to go home to Bishop’s Cleeve, Gloucestershire, just a few days before Christmas 2018.
She has recovered well and has been enjoying life at home for just over a year, now weighing 13lb 7oz – the size of a healthy baby.
Isabella’s mother, Kym, told the Mail Online: “Realistically, she shouldn’t be here. There were so many times we could have lost her. But she never stopped fighting.”
She added: “She is crawling and starting to stand up, and has a great appetite. Her favourite is a cheese and avocado sandwich. She’s so happy, and has a smile for everyone she meets. It’s incredible how far she’s come.”
Isabella’s father, Ryan, thanked the medical professionals involved: “There are no words for the gratitude I have. They have saved my daughter’s life countless times and I’d be nothing without her.”
It is ironic that on one side of a hospital in the UK (including in Northern Ireland from March 2020), medical professionals will fight to save the life of a premature baby while on the other side of the hospital – preborn babies will be ripped apart right up to 24 weeks (when Isabella was born) and, in certain circumstances, up to BIRTH.
In fact, the survival rate for extremely premature babies has doubled over the past decade, prompting new guidance allowing doctors to try to save babies born as early as 22 weeks into a pregnancy.
The previous clinical guidance, drafted in 2008, included a presumption against attempting to provide life-saving treatment to a baby born before 23 weeks.
Polling shows that 70% of women in the UK want to see the time limit for abortion reduced to 20 weeks or below.Medical consensus has believed that unborn babies do not feel pain until the middle or end of the second trimester, 20 to 24 weeks. But newly published medical research indicates that unborn babies can feel pain much sooner.