BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 September, 2004, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK
Layla Jane

Layla Jane with her mum Tina
Layla Jane with her mum Tina. Picture by Patrick Barrie/BBC

Born at just under 24 weeks, the legal abortion limit, Layla is a miracle baby. She has no disabilities and an above average IQ.

One of the youngest extremely premature babies in the EPICure study is Layla Jane.

She was born in April 1995, when her mother was just 23 weeks and five days pregnant. This is just below the legal abortion limit of 24 weeks.

She was so small that they had to dress her in dolls clothes and the doctors at the hospital branded her a miracle.

Soon after her birth, Layla developed a life-threatening condition called oedema, which means that her body was unable to get rid of excess fluid and started to swell.

We were adamant we were going to have her and that was it. We were going to fight
Layla's mother, Tina
Her mother Tina said: "Right at the beginning you are asked if you want to go ahead, do you want to fight for your child.

"It was laid straight on the line. Do you want us to do anything for your baby? But we were adamant, we were going to have her and that was it. We were going to fight."

But she did survive, and by the age of two and a half Layla had made remarkable progress.

She was walking, talking and having the usual two year old tantrums.

Layla, who would almost certainly not have been given intensive care treatment had she lived in Holland because she was born so prematurely, was classified by the EPICure team as having no disabilities at all.

She also has an IQ of 104. But Layla was one of the lucky ones.

Of the 131 babies who were born at 23 weeks and given intensive care, only 25 were still alive at the age of two and a half.

And of those remaining 25, only 11 had no disabilities.

But Layla's mother Tina is in no doubt that miracle babies are worth fighting for.

She said: "It's not a cliché. It's a fact. There are some miracle babies out there and I'd classify Layla as one of them."

Panorama: Miracle baby grows up is broadcast on BBC One on Wednesday, 22 September, 2004 at 21:00 BST.

Miracle baby grows up
17 Sep 04  |  Panorama
Advice and information
21 Sep 04  |  Panorama
The debate: Dr Malcolm Levene
22 Sep 04  |  Panorama
The debate: Dr Neil Marlow
22 Sep 04  |  Panorama
The Dutch policy
22 Sep 04  |  Panorama
Premature babies - the facts
22 Sep 04  |  Panorama
Waiting for a miracle
17 Sep 04  |  Panorama
What is the EPICure Study?
22 Sep 04  |  Panorama
The EPICure children
22 Sep 04  |  Panorama
Isaac Bason
22 Sep 04  |  Panorama
Thomas Rice
22 Sep 04  |  Panorama
Bright Asamany
22 Sep 04  |  Panorama
Emily Wright
22 Sep 04  |  Panorama
Your comments
22 Sep 04  |  Panorama


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific