World’s smallest surviving baby leaves hospital five months after birth

Saybie's mother was initially told her newborn had an hour to live

Olivia Petter
Thursday 30 May 2019 08:51
Hospital in San Diego releases emotional video showing story of how world's smallest baby survived

The world’s smallest surviving baby, born at 23 weeks gestation and weighing 245g, has been discharged from hospital after five months as a healthy infant.

Saybie was born in December 2018 at the Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns in San Diego, California and now weighs 2.5kg.

The five-month-old is believed to be the smallest surviving newborn according to the official Tiniest Babies Registry, which is maintained by the University of Iowa. Saybie weighed seven grams less than the previous smallest baby, who was born in Germany in 2015.

A statement from the hospital claims that Saybie weighed the same as a large apple when she was born.

While the newborn’s mother and father have chosen to remain anonymous, a video uploaded by Sharp HealthCare on Wednesday featuring interviews with her caregivers offers further insight into Saybie’s birth.

“At 245g, there’s reservation on survival,” says registered nurse Courtney Akel.

A voiceover from Saybie’s mother runs through the video. She describes the birth as the “scariest day of [her] life” and that she initially thought she was suffering from pre-eclampsia (a condition that affects some women during the second half of pregnancy) and low blood pressure when she went into labour.

“I just felt very uncomfortable, and I thought, maybe this was part of the pregnancy,” the mother recalls.

“They told my husband that he had about an hour with her and that she was going to pass away. But, that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week.”

After Saybie’s birth, hospital staff and neonatologist Dr Paul Wozniak stabilised her condition before transferring her to the neonatal intensive care unit, where she was monitored for five months.

Nurse Kim Norby said that even when she wasn’t working she couldn’t stop thinking about baby Saybie. “She’s a miracle, that’s for sure,” she added.

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