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"Britain's smallest baby", who mother was advised to abort, now a healthy teenager

5 September 2017


​14 year old Aaliyah:"It was a shock when I saw the clothes I used to wear as a baby, they look like they would be small enough to fit a doll." Picture: Michael Scott/Caters News

Aaliyah Hart was given a 1% chance of survival when she was born. Now she's a normal healthy teenager.

Born prematurely in 2003, Aaliyah Hart weighed just 12oz (340g) and measured seven inches (18cm) as a newborn, and was thought to be Britain's smallest baby. Because she was so small, doctors warned that she was likely to die from underdeveloped lungs, and gave her just a 1 % chance of survival.

Advised to abort

Her mother Lorraine had already had a difficult pregnancy. "I had a lot of problems throughout the pregnancy, the amniotic fluid was slowly decreasing and doctors advised me to have an abortion," she says. "I was determined to continue the pregnancy because I had struggled to conceive and was close to having IVF." 

Aaliyah was put straight on a life support machine, and her mother was warned she might not even last the night. However, the little girl proved that she was a fighter. She received hormones to help her grow, and astonished doctors by reaching all the important milestones. Now, she's 14, and, though small for her age, is perfectly healthy.

A miracle

When she was born, Aaliyah was so tiny that volunteers had to knit clothes to fit her. "I was never aware of the fuss when I was born and it has never affected me," she says. "It was a shock when I saw the clothes I used to wear as a baby, they look like they would be small enough to fit a doll."

Today, the teenager is an aspiring actress and is currently preparing to start her GCSE studies in Birmingham.

"We never thought she would get to this point," says Lorraine. "She is a miracle baby."

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