Yu Xuan, possibly world’s smallest surviving baby, finally goes home


SINGAPORE: Fourteen-month-old Kwek Yu Xuan, who was born prematurely in Singapore at 212 grammes, is possibly the world’s lightest baby born and discharged well on record.

It was based on the Tiniest Babies Registry managed by The University of Iowa, according to the republic’s National University Hospital (NUH).

NUH said the previous smallest survivor in the world was born 245 grammes in the United States as reported by BBC in May 2019.

Now, NUH said Yu Xuan has grown to about 6.3kg and was discharged well on July 9, 2021.

At a virtual media briefing here today hosted by NUH, her mother Wong Mei Ling said at first, she and her husband Kwek Wee Liang were sad for having to deliver the baby prematurely, but later they learnt to move on.

“We are now happy that she is doing well and discharged. We are very impressed and grateful to the doctors and nurses of the NUH neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) team for the attentive and wonderful medical care and treatment of Yu Xuan,” said the mother, who hails from Pontian, Johor in Malaysia.

“In addition, we would like to express our thanks to the crowdfunding platform GIVE.asia and donors, as well as our relatives, friends, colleagues and the landlord of our residence for their care and encouragement,” she said.

Yu Xuan’s parents, who are permanent residents working in Singapore, managed to raise about S$323,000 for her medical bills via GIVE.asia.

They had initially intended to deliver Yu Xuan in Malaysia and reunite with their first child, a four-year-old residing in Malaysia.

However, due to preeclampsia or high blood pressure during pregnancy, Mei Ling was admitted to the NUH and underwent emergency caesarean section at 24 weeks and six days of gestation instead of the average 40 weeks.

Yu Xuan was admitted in the NUH NICU and remained there for 13 months, making her the longest-staying baby there.

“The NICU team is thankful to Yu Xuan’s family for the trust that they have placed in us to care for her,” said Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Neonatology, of Khoo Teck Puat — National University Children’s Medical Institute (KTP-NUCMI), NUH, Associate Professor Zubair Amin.

“It was a difficult journey for Yu Xuan and we greatly appreciate the concerted effort and benevolent support from our colleagues, donors as well as the larger community who have contributed to her survival and growth.

“This was a team effort that embodies the spirit of care and compassion,” he said.

Born on June 9, 2020, NUH said the infant had undergone and survived an incredible life battle when she first came into the world, amid the global Covid-19 pandemic.

An extraordinary “Covid-19” baby, her stay in the NICU was not always smooth sailing as she had to rely on multiple treatments and machines for survival, and she responded positively to the medical care and treatment.

She was “active, cheerful and responsive” during her hospitalisation at NICU where staff from the Department of Neonatology of KTP-NUCMI, NUH, took care of her and monitored her condition around the clock.

NUH noted that Yu Xuan’s health and development have been progressing well although she currently has chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension — two conditions commonly associated with extreme prematurity.

However, the doctors expect her to get better with time. – Bernama

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