A little girl born with feet the size of a fingernail is being hailed as the ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ’s sᴍᴀʟʟᴇsᴛ sᴜʀᴠɪᴠɪɴɢ ᴘʀᴇᴍᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ baby . She has been ᴅᴜʙʙᴇᴅ ‘the little Fɪɢʜᴛᴇʀ’ by ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs after being born only 8.6 inches (22cm) long and weighed 8 ounces (229 grams) at a ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ in the ᴡᴇsᴛᴇʀɴ Gᴇʀᴍᴀɴ ᴄɪᴛʏ of Wɪᴛᴛᴇɴ nine months ago. When she was born her entire foot was the size of a fingernail and she weighed no more than a bell pepper, it was Fᴇᴀʀᴇᴅ she would not sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ. But the girl, labelled ‘the little Fɪɢʜᴛᴇʀ’ by ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛɪɴɢ her, ᴀsᴛᴏɴɪsʜᴇᴅ everyone and is thriving.
ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs have described her as the ‘little Fɪɢʜᴛᴇʀ’ and her survival as a ‘ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ sᴇɴsᴀᴛɪᴏɴ’ while German media said she was the ʟɪɢʜᴛᴇsᴛ ᴘʀᴇᴍᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ baby ever born in the world. The previous record is thought to be held by Rumaisa Rahman, who was born in the Loyola University Mᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ Centre in of Chicago when her mother was 25 weeks ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ. At birth, she was eight inches tall and weighed 8.6 ounces.
At the beginning of the 26th week of ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ Prof Dr Sven Schiermeier, ᴄʜɪᴇF ᴘʜʏsɪᴄɪᴀɴ ᴏf ᴏʙsᴛᴇᴛʀɪᴄs, ᴅᴇᴄɪᴅᴇᴅ together with the parents to deliver the baby by Cᴀᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. He said that otherwise Emilia would have ᴅɪᴇᴅ in the ᴡᴏᴍʙ as there was a ᴘʀᴏʙʟᴇᴍ with the ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇɴᴛᴀ meaning she was not getting the ɴᴜᴛʀɪᴛɪᴏɴ ɴᴇᴇᴅᴇᴅ to sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ. Usually, a Fᴏᴇᴛᴜs in the 26th week of ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ would have weighed around 21 ounces but the ᴘʀᴏʙʟᴇᴍ meant Emilia was well ᴜɴᴅᴇʀᴡᴇɪɢʜᴛ.
Parents Lukas and Sabine Grabarczyk said there was no question as to whether they would give the child a chance even if the ᴏᴅᴅs for sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ ᴡᴇʀᴇ ʟᴏᴡ. Emilia was born so early that it led to subsequent ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs. There was an ɪɴᴄʀᴇᴀsᴇᴅ ʀɪsᴋ ᴏf ʜʏᴘᴇʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ and learning ᴅɪFFɪᴄᴜʟᴛies. Emilia even sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇᴅ ᴀʙᴅᴏᴍɪɴᴀʟ sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ at a weight of just 12 ounces. Yet luckily for the girl, there are no sɪɢɴs ᴏf sᴇʀɪᴏᴜs ᴅɪsᴀʙɪʟɪᴛʏ. She was initially fed with a tiny tube. The ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs used a cotton bud soaked in sugar water to soothe her and ʀᴇʟɪᴇᴠᴇ ᴘᴀɪɴs. The mother said:” There were many ᴅɪFFɪᴄᴜʟᴛ days and many tears, but she clearly wanted to sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ” . Right now, Emilia weighs 106 ounces and seems to be in much better ᴘʜʏsɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ.
Dr. Bahman Gharavi, Head of Children and Youth Clinic at the ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ, said the Emilia’s birth was truly unique. The doctor said that the survival of the baby was only possible thanks to the joint effort of ᴘᴀᴇᴅɪᴀᴛʀɪᴄɪᴀɴs, ɢʏɴᴀᴇᴄᴏʟᴏɢɪsᴛs and ᴘᴀᴇᴅɪᴀᴛʀɪᴄ sᴜʀɢᴇᴏɴs. He said:” Even children with a birth weight of 14 ounces ʀᴀʀᴇʟʏ sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ. We have to thank Emilia as well for her own sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ. She is a little Fɪɢʜᴛᴇʀ.”