Sun. May 22nd, 2022


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‘World’s smallest baby’ weighing same as apple spends year in intensive care

2 min read

A tiny baby who weighed no more than an apple when she was born has finally been allowed to go home after more than a year of intensive care – and has been held up as a “ray of hope” during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Kwek Yu Xuan weighed 212g (7.47oz) when she was born in Singapore last June after her mum suffered from preeclampsia, a high blood pressure condition. Wong Mei Ling had an emergency caesarean operation just 25 weeks into her pregnancy.

Yvonne Ng, a neonatal doctor at Singapore’s National University Hospital, described the desperate battle to keep tiny Yu Xuan alive after her mum was admitted with abdominal pain.

"The first thing that I remember was the difficulty in putting a breathing tube into her. She was so tiny that we had to use a smaller sized tube, 2mm in diameter," Ng told state broadcaster Channel News Asia.

She went on: "The doctor who did it, she had to use her fingers to pry open her mouth gently and put it in, it was quite special."

What followed was 13 months of delicate treatment. Yu Xuan was so small that her medication had to be given in fractions of normal doses, and she had to be given tailor-made nappies.

She was also at greater risk of infection because her skin was so thin and fragile, and she spent several weeks on a ventilator.

But the story touched the hearts of the nation, and more than $350,000 was raised for her parents to help with their medical costs.

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Having had her first birthday in hospital, Yu Xuan now weighs 6.3kg and is on her way home to join her four-year-old brother, although she remains on a ventilator.

A hospital spokesman said: "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."

The smallest baby previously known to have survived was born in the United States weighing 245g.

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