The parents of the youngest preterm baby in Britain have spoken of their happiness at being able to finally hold him and read him stories. Hannah Stibbles, who is now one month old, was born on December 30 via emergency c-section at 25 weeks and only 11 ounces in weight. Doctors have given tiny Hannah a 20% chance of survival and believe she is the tiniest infant to have survived in the UK. The newborn, who will remain in Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital until he is mature and well enough to return home, was finally held by his parents, Ellie Paton, 17, and Brandon Stibbles, 21.
Doctors have informed the couple from Newmilns, Ayrshire, that “the infants are too little to survive,” but Hannah is well enough to breathe on her own. The days until Hannah can be transferred to the more convenient Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, are being counted down. Hannah is now 19.2 ounces in weight and has opened her eyes. Despite the fact that one of her lungs had collapsed, her parents are grateful they were able to feed her through a tube. As their infant now recognizes their voices, they like reading her stories and observing how she responds. We both had to give her a couple hugs, according to Brandon’s father.
You can take her out of the incubator or they can bring her in, but it’s a completely different experience. She’s pretty little, so we prefer that. She has opened her eyes and is now quite awake. We returned her wave after she waved at us. Every day, we spent the entire day there. The two have read several of her novels, including Giraffe Can’t Jump and Dilly Duckling. “It’s not just good for her, it’s good for us too,” Ellie continued. We now need to change her diaper pretty frequently. She performed a fantastic job considering the likelihood that she may require oxygen when she leaves the hospital due to her chronic lung ailment.
The couple have yet to meet their family and have not returned to Ayrshire while no relatives have seen Hannah. Brandon added: “She definitely recognized our voices when we talked to her, she started waving. She feels dead at ease when we hug her, Hannah absolutely loves skin-to-skin contact. Her best numbers were when she was cuddled and we got to hold her for about three and a half hours. We spend the day with Hannah and don’t see our family, we’re more bothered by being with Hannah all the time.”