A "miracle" baby born four months premature and so small she could fit in her mother’s palm has defied the odds and is just about to turn a half-year old.
The tiny child, named Elsie, weighed less than a bag of sugar - just 1lb 10oz – when she made her early entrance in April.
She was not expected to make it to even her due date with doctors telling the family, of Clitheroe, Lancashire, to be prepared for the worst.
But six months later, the little fighter is enjoying life like any other baby.
Terrified mum Kenya Jade Latimer, 21, was rushed to Burnley General Hospital by partner Ashley, 29, when she began experiencing labour pains on 3 April at just 24 weeks.
Talking about first seeing her daughter, she said: "She was so tiny. It was surreal and I was in shock. Everything happened so fast.
"One minute she was delivered, the next she was taken away from us to the neo-natal intensive care unit and placed on a ventilator.
"We were not even allowed to hold her because she was so fragile. Her skin was so delicate.
"It was heart-breaking. You don't know what to do or think when something like this happens - you just have to deal with it."
Two weeks before baby Elsie was born, Ms Latimer began experiencing problems: "I had a normal pregnancy until I began bleeding at 22 weeks.
"I was taken to hospital where the doctors told me I was 4cm dilated and also warned that the odds of the baby surviving were slim. We were so shocked and upset.
"They discussed my options one of which was a surgical procedure called a 'cervical stitch' to prevent pre-term birth. It was a risky procedure and we were very lucky it worked.
"However, two weeks later, I began experiencing contractions again and this time I knew the baby was coming."
As part of her treatment immediately after birth, Elsie was monitored 24 hours a day, given special care and underwent laser eye surgery to treat retinopathy of prematurity.
Ms Latimer said: "Ashley and I sat beside her every day from lunchtime until 9 pm, willing her to pull through.
"It was physically and emotionally draining and we never imagined the first few months of our newborn's life would begin like this."
But following weeks of specialist care at the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, Elsie was discharged home on 5 August.
Ms Latimer said: "Elsie is a beautiful little baby - our little bundle of joy. She has settled at home really well. She is gaining weight and is teething. Elsie is our little miracle and we love her to bits.”
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