Human Interest

Preemie born at 23 weeks home after 70 days on life support: ‘She’s a little fighter’

abortion, born alive, ireland, premature

A premature baby whose hand was the size of her dad’s fingernail at birth is home and thriving after spending 70 days on life support.

Elsie Hampson was born at 23 weeks gestation, weighing just 1 pound, 1 ounce at birth. When she arrived, doctors told her parents, Rob and Katie Hampson, that she had a 25% chance of survival.

“It was horrific because I just didn’t know if I was going to lose Elsie or not,” Katie explained in an interview with Yahoo! Life UK. “Her body was the size of Rob’s hand and that photo of her hand against her dad’s hand doesn’t even show how small she was – her little hand was no bigger than his fingernail.”

READ: Premature twin miraculously recovers after contracting COVID

Katie explained that she had several prenatal complications that led to Elsie’s premature delivery, and that the little girl’s first days on earth were full of worry. “It wasn’t how it should have been. It wasn’t like having a newborn baby – some people didn’t even say congratulations because they felt they shouldn’t have been congratulating me on having her so early,” she said. “I was just praying and hoping for the best.”

Following her birth, Elsie was whisked to the NICU straight away. “We just didn’t know if she was going to pull through,” Katie said. “A nurse even said to me that we had both gone through one of the most traumatic experiences she’s ever seen on the unit.”

Little Elsie was put on life support, where she remained for 70 days. However, she eventually grew strong enough to come off support and be taken home with her family for the first time.

The parents shared how proud they are of their daughter, and how grateful they are to the doctors and nurses for treating her so well. “Not even the doctors or nurses had hopes that she would survive but she’s a little fighter — we’re so proud of her,” Katie said.

“They [the staff] are real-life angels. If it weren’t for them, Elsie wouldn’t be here,” she added. “They should be recognized for the amazing job that they do. They saved my baby’s life.”

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