The world’s smallest baby who weighed as much as an apple was finally discharged from hospital, and has gone home with her parents.
Yu Xuan was born in June 2020 and weighed just 7.5 ounces and faced several types of complications from being born so early.
Her parents, Kwek Wee Liang and Wong Mei Ling of Malaysia, who also have a son, welcomed Yu Xuan into the world early, because Wong Mei Ling suffered from preeclampsia, and had to deliver right away.
The “world’s smallest known baby” was delivered via c-section at Singapore’s National University Hospital (NUH) at just shy of 25 weeks. “I didn’t expect to give birth so quickly, and we were very sad that Yu Xuan was born so small,” Wong said.
“But due to my condition, we didn’t have a choice. We could just hope that she would continue to grow (and be healthy).” When veteran nurse Zhang Suhe saw the preemie first, she could barely believe her eyes. “I was shocked so I spoke to the professor (in the same department) and asked if he could believe it,” she said.
Suhe said, “In my 22 years of being a nurse, I haven’t seen such a small newborn baby.” The baby was so tiny that her care team came up with new innovative treatments and medications for her. Nurses had to be extremely careful with the baby’s fragile skin, and they had to cut diapers down to size just to fit her.
“There are some chemicals in the diaper to absorb the baby’s urine, and this can’t come into direct contact with Yu Xuan’s skin,” Zhang explained. “So we had to fold and seal the edges … these are the things we had to do for her, because caring for her skin is very, very important.”
With her serious condition, the baby has now become “a ray of hope amid turmoil,” she is giving others hope through her life amid the tough times due to the pandemic. Yu Xuan was finally able to go home after spending a year in the NICU.
She is still battling chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension, but doctors it will improve with age. The Guinness World Records website currently lists her as the record-holder for “lightest birth.” Yu Xuan was discharged in July, weighing almost 14 pounds, and the hospital highlighted her story on social media to celebrate her.
“Baby Yu Xuan was just 212gms — barely the weight of a large apple — when she was delivered via emergency C-section in June last year,” the NUH shared on Facebook on Aug. 7. “After 13 months in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, baby Yu Xuan was discharged home well. She is likely the world’s lightest baby to have survived a premature birth.
“We are happy for the little fighter and her family and proud of the care provided by our team. Our best wishes to Little Yu Xuan as she continues to grow, thrive, and beat the odds every day.”
“It was a difficult journey for Yu Xuan and we greatly appreciate the concerted effort and benevolent support from our colleagues, donors as well as the larger community who have contributed to her survival and growth,” the senior consultant at the hospital’s Department of Neonatology, Zubair Amin, said.