The youngest baby ever to undergo surgery at one of Britain’s biggest hospitals turns one today – after she was born before the legal abortion limit.
Little Abi Peters was born at just 23 weeks and had surgery when she was six days old, weighing only 609g, before spending 124 nights in hospital.
She defied the odds to overcome a serious gut condition which ruptured her intestine in three places and celebrates her first birthday as a thriving tot, despite weighing less than a bag of sugar.
Surgeons who treated her at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, said her chance of survival was ‘so small’ that operating had been the only option.
Her mum Louise said: “It has been an incredibly challenging year, and one that we will never forget.
“We have experienced so many highs and lows as a family, so to be celebrating Abi’s birthday this week means a huge amount to us, and we remain forever grateful to the NHS and the wonderful care we’ve received.”
Baby Abi was born on October 26, 2016 with perforated necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, a serious condition of the gut which affects pre-term babies.
She was born at St Peter’s Hospital, in Chertsey, before she was transferred to the neonatal unit at St George’s, one of the country’s largest teaching hospitals, for specialist care.
Surgeon Zahid Mukhtar and his team were forced to operate despite tiny Abi only weighing 1.3lb.
Mr Mukhtar said: “It is fantastic to see how well little Abi is doing, thanks to her supportive family, and the care she has received both at St George’s, and St Peter’s.
“Abi’s chances of survival without surgery were so small that we agreed operating was her only option.
“To see her doing so well, and celebrating her first birthday, is great for everyone connected with her case.”
Abi’s mum Louise shared the family’s story at the St George’s Annual Members Meeting’ in September.
Her daughter’s original due date was February 19, 2016, before she was born barely larger than an adult’s hand.