Miracle baby Abi survives op at 23 weeks

Last Updated on : 23rd March 2017

Zahid founded Magdalen Nursery in Earlsfield with his brother in 2012. Magdalen Nursery has gone on to be one of the most respected and advanced childcare settings in Wandsworth. It has unparalleled facilities and care whilst providing essential support and platforms for new mothers. Zahid made a decision to with his family to dedicate his life to children following the untimely death of his baby sister aged 3. He is fulfilling his aspirations for children to be cared for in all ways including, health, education and wellbeing.


Weighing just 1lb 5oz, she was given less than 10% chance of surviving operation.

By Ross Lydall, Health Editor. London Evening Standard.

A BABY born four months prematurely has become the youngest in the world to survive a major abdominal operation, her surgeon revealed today. Abi Peters underwent the surgery in London just six days after being born at 23 weeks geststation. Medics believed the operation at St George’s Hospital had a “less than 10 per cent” chance of success. Abi, hailed by her parents today as “our little miracle”,weighed 1lb 5oz— about two-thirds of a bag of sugar — and was smaller than her surgeon Zahid Mukhtar’s hand.

She was discharged home on Monday after four months and a day in hospital. Mr Mukhtar said Abi was the youngest patient ever to have an operation at St George’s. He added: “As far as we know, she is the youngest in the world to have survived this kind of surgery.”

Abi’s mother Louise, 32, told the Standard: “This has been such a rollercoaster and it was so scary. “We didn’t know what to expect. We prayed and hoped for the best. The op was at such an early age. But without it, in a day or two she’d have been dead.

“They told us all the risks but didn’t say this is the world’s youngest baby ever operated on, otherwise it might have scared us too much. Bringing Abi home was brilliant. It has just been  amazing. She has overcome every hurdle she has faced. The NHS is absolutely phenomenal. I’m not sure she’d have survived in another country. She truly is our little miracle.”

‘The operation happened at such an early age but without it she would have been dead in a day or two’ – Louise Peters, Abi’s mother


Mrs Peters, an analyst at Investec bank, had suddenly gone into early labour at home in Hinchley Wood, despite an otherwise normal pregnancy. Abi was delivered at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, on October 26 and immediately put on life support.

3She was transferred to the neo-natal intensive care unit at St George’s in Tooting five days later when it was felt life-saving surgery may be needed. She was suffering from the severe gut condition perforated necrotising enterocolitis. It is the most common surgical emergency in premature babies but the youngest previously operated on were of 25-26 weeks’ gestation.

Consultant paediatric surgeon Mr Mukhtar, 45, who led a 10 strong team in the theatre, said: “My mother and grandmother taught me never to give up on a child. It’s a real privilege to do this amazing work.

“It’s all because we have this team who are really passionate about children’s survival and pushing the boundaries of what is humanly possible.”

4Abi’s surgeons used specially adapted equipment because she was so small. Mr Mukhtar said: “She is a unique case and we only chose to operate because her chances of  “Our little miracle”: Abi with her parents Louise and David. Left, her surgeon Zahid Mukhtar  survival without surgery were so small. The fact she survived the operation and is now doing so well is fantastic.

“The survival rate for babies born at 23 weeks is very low and Abi’s case is remarkable in that sense. All the signs suggest we should be optimistic about her long-term prognosis.”

Mrs Peters and husband David, 43, a director at Aecom in Aldgate, also have a two-year-old daughter, Tara.

“It was certainly not the birth we’d imagined,” said Mrs Peters. “Abi looked so tiny and couldn’t make any noise or open her eyes. It was hard to believe something that small could survive but we knew the fact she was being whisked away meant there was a chance.

“After she went into theatre, David and I sat for the longest three hours of our lives, waiting to be told the outcome. “When the door opened and one of the surgeons came in, we looked at his face without hearing the words and knew she was okay. He was smiling.”




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