‘Miracle Baby’ Born At 23 Weeks Is World’s Youngest Patient To Survive Major Abdominal Surgery

A ‘miracle baby’ girl born at just 23 weeks, is the youngest patient in the world to survive major abdominal surgery.

Abiageal Weighed Less Than One Pound

Abiageal Peters, who weighed just one pound (approximately 450 grams), has been called a miracle after her mum Louise, 32, went into early labour last year.

At just six days old, Abiageal fought against the odds and survived surgery to correct her perforated gut called necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). NEC occurs when the intestinal tissue becomes damaged.

Her mum Louise told The Sun that she and her husband Dave knew the risks before the surgery but remained hopeful.

“We agreed to the operation, despite the risks associated with it, as we knew she wouldn’t survive without it,” the British-based mum says.

“After she’d gone into theatre, Dave and I sat in a room for what was probably the longest three hours of our lives, waiting for the surgical team to tell us the outcome.

“When the door opened and one of the surgeons came into the room, we just looked at his face without hearing the words and we knew – she was ok. He was smiling.”

Youngest Patient To Survive Major Abdominal Surgery

Abiageal was operated on by ten surgeons and was then kept in intensive care to be monitored afterwards.

“The surgery had gone as well as they could possibly have hoped and although they were still clearly anxious considering how young she was and how far she still had to go, her first big hurdle had been cleared,” she adds.

“Our baby girl was a fighter. She stayed in intensive care for a while and overcame many more hurdles, but she kept fighting and we are so pleased with how she is doing today. She truly is our little miracle.”

Consultant paediatric surgeon Zahid Mukhtar who operated on Abiageal told the publication: “Abiageal is a unique case and we only chose to operate because her chances of survival without surgery were so small.

“The fact she survived the operation, and is now doing so well, is fantastic news.

“We will continue to monitor her closely, but all the signs suggest we should be optimistic about her long-term prognosis.

“This is credit to Abiageal, her family, as well as the surgical, medical and nursing teams involved in looking after her.”

Premature Birth In Australia

About eight per cent of babies born in Australia each year arrive prematurely.

Miracle Babies has created a book that aims at helping families deal with premature babies and the associated feelings, and it’s available free of charge through Australian NICU’s and SCN’s.

Good news however, a new test could be used on all pregnant women during their 20 week check-up, to ‘predict’ whether their baby will be born early. Read all about it here.  Research has also shown that there is an Increase In The Number Of Extremely Premature Babies Surviving And Thriving.