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Last Updated: Friday, 10 October, 2003, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
Smallest baby goes home
Aaliyah and Lorraine Hart
Mum and daughter are happy to be leaving hospital
A baby believed to be the smallest surviving infant to be born in the UK, is being allowed home after a four-month stay in hospital.

Aaliyah Hart was given just a 10% chance of survival after she was born weighing just 12 ounces at Birmingham City Hospital in May.

But on Thursday staff at the hospital's neo-natal unit decided Aaliyah, now weighing five pounds, was strong enough to go home for the first time.

Leaving hospital with Aaliyah mother Lorraine Hart, 37, said: "She will always be a little miracle because she's come so far from so tiny and doing really well and I'm really proud of her.

"I'm just happy she's here, she's alive and we're going home that fills me up to see her so well."

Mrs Hart discovered that her baby was not growing properly five months into the pregnancy.

She was offered a termination but Mrs Hart refused and went ahead with the pregnancy.

Aaliyah pictured at Birmingham City Hospital
When baby Aaliyah arrived 12 weeks early she measured just nine inches long and could fit in the palm of her mother's hand.

She was immediately put on a life support machine and doctors warned she had a low chance off pulling through, but Aaliyah came off two days later.

Her intensive care treatment since then is estimated to have cost more than 100,000.

Dr Jeffrey Bissenden, consultant paediatrician, said from the moment she was born she showed signs of being a determined fighter.

"She just waved her arms around and said 'hello, I'm alive'," he said.

"I would be very interested to see what sort of personality she is. I think she'll be a demanding, stroppy little madam."

The previous UK record for a tiny surviving baby was thought to be held by Dylan Coles, who weighed 15 ounces when he was born in Liverpool in 2001.

The smallest on record is a US baby who weighed 11 ounces at birth.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Lorraine Hart
"She [Aaliyah] is doing ever so well"



SEE ALSO:
UK's tiniest baby unveiled
20 Jun 03  |  Health
'My babies came 15 weeks early'
24 Mar 03  |  Health



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