- Manushi, who was born 12 weeks early, had a foot the size of a thumbnail
- She measured just 8.6 inches and is the smallest surviving baby born in Asia
- Manushi was born not breathing, with paper-thin skin and undeveloped organs
- She is being discharged from hospital after six months but still weighs just 5.2lbs
- The hospital waived the treatment’s cost to send a ‘pro-girl tolerance’ message
One of the world’s smallest babies to ever survive weighs the same as a bar of chocolate.
Manushi, who was born 12 weeks early, weighed just 0.88lb — the same as a big bar of Cadbury’s chocolate — with her foot being the size of her father’s thumbnail.
The youngster, from Rajasthan, India, who measured just 8.6 inches long, is thought to be the smallest surviving baby ever born in Asia.
Manushi, who was born not breathing, with paper-thin skin and underdeveloped organs, is being discharged from hospital after six months, but still weighs just 5.2lbs.
Despite being given a 0.5 per cent chance of surviving without brain damage, doctors say she appears intellectually normal.
Manushi mother Seeta, 48, and father Giriraj, 50, said: ‘She’s just fought and fought and fought against all the odds, but she’s made it.’
‘She was struggling to breathe’
Seeta and Giriraj said: ‘She’s just fought and fought and fought against all the odds, but she’s made it.’
Seeta suffered dangerously high blood pressure during her pregnancy, with an ultrasound revealing an absence of blood flow to the foetus.
She underwent an emergency c-section on June 15, just 28 weeks into her pregnancy.
After her birth, Manushi was immediately put on a ventilator and transferred to Jivanta Children’s Hospital NICU.
Dr Janged said: ‘When the baby was born, we were uncertain of what could happen.
‘She was struggling to breathe, so was immediately put on advanced respiratory support ventilator to expand her tiny, immature lungs.
‘She could not be fed adequately due to immaturity of her gut.
‘We had to start the baby on total parenteral nutrition, which basically means giving all the essential nutrients, such as amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, multivitamins and trace elements, directly into blood circulation.’
In the first few days of Manushi’s life she lost weight, however, after seven weeks, she was able to start taking milk.
She also underwent blood transfusions and had her respiratory support temporarily turned off, leading to her holding her breath in her sleep.
WHY THE COST OF MANUSHI’S TREATMENT WAS SLASHED
Manushi’s medical treatment would normally have cost 1,000,000 rupees — around £11,500, however, the hospital drastically reduced the therapy’s cost due to the family’s low income, as well as to send a message to the community.
Dr Sunil Janged, hospital director at Jivanta Children’s Hospital NICU, where Manushi was treated, said: ‘We decided to save the life of the baby and offer her necessary medical care and attention because we wanted to send out a message that a girl child must be protected.
‘In a state like Rajasthan where female infanticide is rampant, people have to come forward and take step to end this evil practice.’
Dr Ajay Gambhir, former president of National Neonatology Forum of India, added: ‘We are grateful to Seeta and her family. We appreciate them for setting a new example to the community.
‘In Rajasthan the girls [like this] are still considered a burden, and are thrown in the trash immediately after birth or are left in the orphanage.
‘Seeta and the hospital staff treated this baby girl, despite her having negligible chance of survival.’