A Hispanic baby born 16 weeks prematurely, and considered one of world’s tiniest babies ever to survive, has been released from a Los Angeles Hospital.
Melinda Star Guido was born on Aug. 30 just 24 weeks after conception and weighed only 9 1/2 ounces - less than a can of soda. But this Friday when her parents were allowed to take her home from the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, she was up to 4 1/2 pounds.
“I feel great to take Melinda home and I’m very grateful to the doctors and all the hospital personnel that helped her survive,” the 22-year-old mother Haydee Ibarra told Efe.
“We have reached a milestone by being able to see Melinda go home. We are hopeful to see many more milestones accomplished in Melinda’s development as we follow her care over the next six years,” Dr. Rangasamy Ramanathan, head of the LAC+USC Medical Center’s neonatology department, told a press conference Saturday.
The medical center said that according to the Global Birth Registry, Melinda is the world’s third smallest baby ever to survive and the second smallest in the United States.
The doctors decided to bring Melinda’s birth forward by means of a Cesarean section because she was not receiving the necessary nourishment through the placenta, the hospital said.
During its first weeks, the baby was in the neonatal intensive care unit, surviving on artificial respiration and a feeding tube. Her mother visited her every day, stroked her hands and slept beside her.
But the first time Haydee Ibarra was allowed to pick up her baby and carry her was in November after an operation to close an artery. Shortly after her birth, Melinda was also treated for a vision problem typical of premature babies.
Melinda should have been born around Dec. 15 and Dr. Ramanathan called her a real “miracle baby,” since very few thought Melinda would survive.