MODERN medicine is usually powerless to save babies born before 23 weeks gestation, but doctors say Stella Miloseski is the “exception to the rule”.
Stella was born at 22 weeks and 5 days – only a week older than the world’s most premature surviving baby who was born at 21 weeks and 5 days.
Doctors say Stella only survived because she’s one of the toughest little babies they’ve ever seen and due to the generosity of blood donors, who provided eight transfusions to the tiny girl.
When she was born on March 19 at King Edward Memorial Hospital, she only weighed 440g – also making her one of the smallest babies to survive in WA.
Doctors initially told her parents, Robert and Theresa Miloseski from West Leederville, to prepare for the worst because babies born so under-developed have little chance of survival.
“We were actually told she wasn’t going to survive,” Mrs Miloseski said. “We wanted to get her baptised so we did that and just took things from hour to hour.”
But after 18 weeks of intensive care and specialist treatment by one of Australia’s leading neonatal teams at KEMH, Stella is surprisingly reasonably healthy.
Karen Simmer, director of KEMH’s neonatal team, said Stella was an exception to the rule for babies born so premature.
“She’s a tough little girl,” Prof Simmer said. “She has to be or she wouldn’t be here.
“It’s very unusual that we resuscitate babies under 23 weeks. I can’t remember another baby who has ever done as well as Stella has done. She really is an extraordinary survivor.”
Prof Simmer said Stella only had about 40ml of blood when she was born and needed eight transfusions because such premature babies can’t replenish their own supplies, especially with blood being taken out for medical tests.
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Photo Credit: Robert and Theresa Miloseski & Perth Now