A baby boy who was born one week before the legal abortion limit has been allowed home for the first time.
Wade Burgess was born on 14 June at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, weighing just 1lb 3oz.
He is the most premature baby ever to have survived at the hospital, and although he has gone home he still needs an oxygen tube.
Wade’s mother Donna is delighted that he has been allowed to leave hospital, and said that she worried about her son all the time.
Just after Wade was born, he was so underdeveloped that Donna was not even allowed to touch him.
She said that doctors told her Wade had just a ten per cent chance of survival.
“I was in shock. I started shaking and my mum had to calm me down. It was heartbreaking”, she explained.
But Wade made rapid progress in intensive care and gradually needed less assistance.
Donna said she is overwhelmed about being able to take her son home for the first time.
The clinical director of the neonatal unit at Liverpool Women’s Hospital said that Wade has done “amazingly well” despite being born extremely prematurely.
Abortion is currently legal up to 24 weeks in Great Britain on a broad range of criteria.
Abortion up to birth is lawful when the mother’s life is at risk, or where the unborn child is seriously disabled.
Meanwhile in Washington, a boy who was born at 22 weeks has now reached three years old.
Doctors did not want to “aggressively” treat Gabriel Rutherford because survival rates for babies born so prematurely are very low.
But his parents Eric and Miri fought for him to be kept alive and he was in neonatal intensive care and special care units for five months.
Now they describe him as a typical three-year-old, showing few signs of being born so prematurely.