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Friday, September 10, 1999 Published at 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK


Ronan's miracle: Step by step

A team of surgeons were at hand

The 26-strong medical team at King's College Hospital in London made medical history when they helped Jane Ingram give birth to a baby who had developed outside of the womb.

Because the pregnancy was so unusual, the team faced a real challenge to ensure that mother and children emerged safe and sound.

Yet they stunned the medical world when Ronan - who developed in the fallopian tubes - and his two sisters were born in as good health as could be expected for babies born 11 weeks premature.

The three are now said to be doing well, but their passage to life was not an easy one.

Special efforts

The medical team included three surgeons, three anaesthetists, three paediatricians, three midwives and 11 operating theatre staff.

Doctors came in from leave to take part in the operation, which staff described as a "military type procedure".

After they delivered the two girls by Caesarean section, the team faced its first challenge - how to get Ronan out.

The same method was out of the question because of Ronan's position in the abdomen.

Instead, doctors had to move Mrs Ingram's bowel in order to gain access to him, and then cut open the sac that had developed around him.

Olivia was born weighing 2lbs 10oz, Mary 2lbs 4oz and Ronan came in at 2lbs 4oz - doctors said these were normal weights for triplets delivered at 29 weeks.

Surviving after birth

They were then taken to intensive care where they were put into incubators and given caffeine to stimulate their breathing - as is normal practice.

There had been fears that Ronan in particular would have breathing difficulties due to the circumstances of his development, but as it turned out he appeared to have the strongest lungs and was the first to be taken off a ventilator.

Dr Janet Rennie, a consultant paediatrician at the hospital, said the babies would have to stay in hospital for at least another six weeks.

"Everybody is delighted, particularly that Ronan is so well because I did have concerns that he might not have done," she said.

"Hopefully these babies will have no setbacks, although all very premature babies are always susceptible to infection."

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