A severely premature baby survived after doctors kept her warm by putting her in a SANDWICH BAG – from the hospital CANTEEN.
Lexi Lacey was born 14 weeks early weighing just 14 ounces (396 grams) and her parents were told she had a ten per cent chance of survival.
She was so tiny that medics had to use the smallest insulating jacket they could find – a 15cm plastic sandwich bag from the kitchens at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Amazingly, Lexi survived and is now a bouncing 11-week-old baby weighing a healthy 5lbs 6oz.
Proud mum Chelsea Rowberry, 17, said: ”The doctors told us they had never known a baby born as prematurely as Lexi survive.
”She was so tiny the only thing they had to keep her body temperature warm was a sandwich bag from the hospital canteen – it’s incredible to think that saved her life.
”People look quite shocked when I tell them she’s okay, a lot of people didn’t like to speak to me at first.
”But when they see her now people don’t believe me when I tell them how premature she was.”
Chelsea and her partner Lee Lacey, 24, feared she was having a miscarriage when she suffered agonising stomach pains when she was 26 weeks pregnant on the evening of June 26.
She rang the maternity suite at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester but was told it was nothing to worry about and to go back to sleep.
But after suffering more pain Chelsea’s mum Gillian called an ambulance and she was rushed to the hospital.
Chelsea said: ”It was frightening. I rang the maternity suite and they just told me to go to sleep.
”Then a few hours later I had really bad cramps and mum rang an ambulance.”
Mum Gillian, 48, added: ”I think I panicked but I knew in my heart she was in labour.
”My biggest priority was just to make sure they were both okay.”
Worcestershire Royal Hospital only has the facilities to care for premature babies born from 28 weeks onwards and doctors wanted to transfer her to a specialist unit at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital.
But Chelsea was already 3cm dilated and it was too late. She gave birth in the early hours of June 27.
Tiny Lexi – who could fit in the palm of her mother’s hand – was insulated with the sandwich bag while her condition stabilised and she was rushed to a specialist unit at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital at 8.30am.
Gillian, 48, said: ”A doctor told us that Lexi was born but they had to send a member of staff to the hospital canteen to fetch a sandwich bag.
”They told us they used the bag as a blanket to keep Lexi warm. They explained it was a temporary measure until they could transfer her to Birmingham.
”We were gobsmacked but so grateful to the hospital – without the bag Lexi probably wouldn’t have survived, it’s a miracle.”
Chelsea, who lives with her mum in Worcester, said: ”It was really scary.
”The hospital would ring me up to tell me she needed a blood transfusion and she probably wouldn’t make it through the night.”
Lexi was kept in the baby unit at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital for three days before being transferred to Shrewsbury Royal Hospital before spending 11 weeks recovering at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Lexi was finally allowed home on September 3.
Chelsea – who, ironically, was studying a BTEC in parenting before having Lexi – said: ”It’s such a relief to have her home.
”She’s a real battler and I’m so grateful for all the support and help from the doctors who cared for her.”
Lexi’s dad Lee, a professional kitchen cleaner, said: ”It’s been a rollercoaster ride for everyone but we’re just so happy Lexi is going to be okay.”
Natalie Weston, founder of the support group Calling All Little Miracles (CALM), said: ”It is very rare for a baby that young to survive, but every year the survival rate for premature babies is getting better because of the research being carried out.
”The knowledge and technology is becoming more advanced and the basic thing is that babies are getting more help to survive.”