UK’s tiniest baby who weighed the same as 12oz Coke can and had hands smaller than 1p coins back home after life-saving operations

April 22, 2019  14:15

She is now smiling for parents Kym Brown and Ryan Evans in Bishop’s Cleeve, Gloucs. They said: “She’s our little fighter.”

Tiny tot Isabella weighed the same as a Coke can at birth — with hands smaller than 1p coins.

At 12oz she was the smallest premature baby for 20 years.

Her body was shorter than a pack of baby wipes and doctors put her in bubble wrap to keep her warm.

Yet after several scares and two life-saving ops she left hospital after six months and is now beaming at home with parents Kym Brown, 25, and Ryan Evans, 26.

Relieved Kym said: “Realistically she shouldn’t be here. There were so many times we could have lost her.

“But she never stops fighting. We love her to bits. She’s perfect.”

Kym joked: “We are going to wrap her in bubble wrap for the rest of her life!” Restaurant manager Kym had been due to give birth on September 29.

But at 24 weeks her ankles started to swell, with no one at that stage realising it was due to pre-eclampsia, a ­condition which affects six per cent of pregnancies and can be fatal for mother and baby.

Kym went to her local hospital in Gloucester where a scan showed Isabella had stopped growing at 21 weeks. Staff hoped the pregnancy could continue for a fortnight and transferred Kym to Southmead Hospital in Bristol as a precaution.

A scan the next day revealed Isabella’s heart rate was dropping so Kym was rushed in for a caesarean.

She said: “It sounds dramatic and scary now but at the time I was quite calm. I didn’t have time for it to sink in.

"It was worse for Ryan because he could see how fast things were moving and how ill I was getting. He thought he was going to lose us both.”

Isabella was born on June 14 at 24 weeks. She was put in an incubator to help her breathe.

Kym waited a week to hold her in blankets and a fortnight for their first skin-to-skin cuddle.

She said: “It was love at first sight and the protective maternal instinct kicks in. I stayed with her every night she was in hospital.

“She couldn’t feed or breathe at first so she had tubes for that.

“A few times she knocked out her breathing tube and the nurses had to grab her off me and fit another as quick as they could.”

At three weeks the couple learned Isabella had a hole in her bowel and would need surgery at another hospital, St Michael’s. Kym said: “We prepared ourselves for the worst so when we got the call to say the op had gone well I just said, ‘OK’. I was in shock.

“The way I was coping was to expect the worst. When the good news arrived I couldn’t take it in.”

Three months later Isabella needed a second bowel op. Again she pulled through. She also needed laser eye surgery at a few months old.

Kym added: “She wore her first vest at three months and only then because we think it had shrunk in the wash at the hospital.

"The vest was smaller than my phone.”

At four months Isabella could finally fit premature baby clothes.

And on December 16 she was allowed to go home to Bishop’s Cleeve, Gloucs.

Ryan, a chef, said: “That was one of the best feelings in the world.”

Now aged ten months Isabella weighs around the same as a newborn at 9lb.

Ryan added: “She’s being weaned off her oxygen support and is expected to make a full recovery.

“We’ve just had a catch-up with her consultant and he was amazed with her progress.”

Kym said: “She has a hernia and a hole in the heart but they are just monitoring those and hope they will put themselves right.

“We can’t thank the doctors and nurses enough at all the hospitals. They are superheroes.”

Isabella tipped the scales at 346g (12.2oz). Aaliyah Hart, of Birmingham, weighed 340g (12oz) in 2003 and is now 16.

The world’s smallest baby, a boy, was born last August in Tokyo weighing just 268g (9.45oz).


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