Monday, January 5, 2009

Baby girl given only 10 per cent chance of survival goes home for first time

A baby girl given a 10 per cent chance of survival after she and her twin were born at just 23 weeks has gone home for the first time.

Steven and Michelle Wilson were told to expect to lose both their girls after the death of Ellie at 30 days.

But Chloe has defied the odds and has gone from strength to strength in hospital.

Mr Wilson, 24, of South Hetton, County Durham, said: "We have waited 16 weeks for this and it feels fantastic.

"It feels just right having her here in her home rather than hospital. I think we must be the only parents who are looking forward to being woken in the night."

Chloe was born at 23 weeks - one week below the legal abortion limit - after Mrs Wilson went into premature labour.

Mrs Wilson, 23, was first taken to North Durham University Hospital before being transferred to Newcastle where she gave birth.

As Chloe wasn't developed enough to survive on her own, doctors kept her in an incubator and connected to oxygen tubes to allow her lungs to grow fully.

She has already undergone a number of operations, including a heart procedure and a blood transfusion. She also recently had laser eye surgery to prevent her from going blind.

Mr Wilson, a trainee manager, said: "Because she was born before 32 weeks her eyes hadn't fully developed.

"They checked her at 34 weeks and decided they would need to do the surgery.

The blood vessels in her eyes hadn't developed fully and, if left unchecked, would have blinded her.

"We were told that she had 3500 nerves in each eye burned."

Mrs Wilson, who works in insurance, added: "She will need glasses very early on but as she gets older she could wear contact lenses.

"Her peripheral vision won't be as good as ours but she will be able to see things in front of her and she will never know the difference."

At birth, Chloe weighed just 1lb 2oz but she is now 6lb 11oz. She is still connected to oxygen tubes 24 hours a day and will continue to rely on them for a couple more months.

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