'It Lets Everyone Know It Is Possible': World's Smallest Surviving Baby Goes Home Healthy

Brittany M. Hughes | May 30, 2019
Font Size

What is believed to be the world’s smallest baby ever to survive birth is now a thriving 5-month old, defying all the odds and shocking doctors at the San Diego hospital where she was born.

“Saybie,” as she was nicknamed by hospital staff, was delivered via an emergency C-section in December at the Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns in San Diego when her mother was diagnosed with preeclampsia, a dangerous condition causing high blood pressure that can threaten both the mother and her unborn child. The little girl was delivered at only 23 weeks and three days gestation and weighing a mere 245 grams (8.6 ounces), seven grams lighter than the previous record-holder, according to the Washington Post

Saybie was so small, in fact, that hospital staff had a tough time recording her weight because the facility's scales didn't pick up anything less than 300 grams. Doctors said the baby’s tiny size was due in part to her early delivery combined with the preeclampsia, which can cause slow growth in utero.

Trisha Khaleghi, the hospital’s senior vice president and chief executive, said the baby girl was “roughly the same weight as a large apple or a child’s juice box.”


The baby girl’s doctors said they never expected the little girl to survive, but fought for her life at the request of her parents, initially telling the distraught mother and father not to expect to spend more than an hour with their daughter before she died.

“We just sat by her bedside the first six hours,” Neonatologist Paul Wozniakremembers. “I thought her chances of making it probably weren’t good. I told the folks every hour I would update them, but there’s a good chance she’s going to die.”

But she didn’t.

Perhaps even more shocking was the fact that Saybie didn’t wind up with the host of after-birth complications so common in micro-preemies, including brain bleeds and lung problems. After spending nearly five months in the NICU, “Saybie” was finally able to go home earlier this month - without oxygen assistance or a feeding tube, and weighing five pounds.

“It lets everyone know that it is possible,” Wozniak said.