Amelia Sonja Taylor

Amelia Sonja Taylor

Doctors in Miami say a tiny premature baby that weighed just ten ounces at birth has proven them wrong. Her name means "resilient fighter" and her doctors and nurses said she is more than that; Amelia Sonia Taylor has made history.

Amelia, who was delivered just under 22 weeks (21 weeks, 6 days) from conception, went home in February 2007. Full-term births come after 37 to 40 weeks.

Neonatologists who cared for Amelia say she is the first baby known to survive after a gestation period of fewer than 23 weeks. A database run by the University of Iowa's Department of Paediatrics lists seven babies born at 23 weeks between 1994 and 2003. Amelia was born on the 24 October with respiratory and digestive problems, but her doctors say none of the health concerns are expected to pose long-term problems.

"Her prognosis is excellent," said Dr. Paul Fassbach, who has cared for Amelia since her second day.

Amelia was conceived in-vitro and has been in an incubator since birth. She has received oxygen and will continue to get a small amount even after she goes home. She is the first child for Eddie and Sonja Taylor in Florida. She was delivered by cesarean section and now weighs about 4 1/2 pounds and is just over 15 1/2 inches long.

Amelia is the youngest known baby worldwide to survive premature birth, although medical advancements continue to improve the chances of early survival for infants who leave the womb ahead of schedule. 

Amelia was unusually strong at birth and responded well to treatment. The Daily Mail reported that the child even underwent plastic surgery during her two months in an incubator to repair damage to her ear.