Tiny Jasmine overcomes the odds

TINY Jasmine Sparrow is today living proof that seemingly insurmountable odds can be overcome.In just a few weeks time she will be celebrating her first birthday - a day doctors thought she may never see.

TINY Jasmine Sparrow is today living proof that seemingly insurmountable odds can be overcome.

In just a few weeks time she will be celebrating her first birthday - a day doctors thought she may never see.

When she was born four months prematurely in October last year, weighing just 1lb 2ozs, doctors told her parents she had less than a 20pc chance of survival. She was one of the smallest babies ever born at Ipswich Hospital.

Today, the only clue to her traumatic first few months is a tiny scar on her arm where she was hooked up to the ventilators and feeding tubes which saved her life.

Her father, Glenn Sparrow, said: “She really is a miracle. The chances of her being completely healthy were so small, but to look at her today she is just amazing.

“She's happy and healthy and full of energy.”

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Jasmine's dramatic entrance in to the world began when her mum Carole, 37, went for a routine scan.

Ms Bagley, of Dombey Road, Ipswich, said: “I knew straight away that something wasn't right.

“The doctor came in and said: 'Your baby's on its way. We need to get you into the delivery room.'

“I just couldn't believe it. I didn't know what was happening. I was too shocked to be scared.”

The scan showed that Jasmine's head was almost outside the womb and she was about to be born.

After the birth she was whisked straight to Ipswich Hospital's special care baby unit where it was touch and go whether she would survive.

Eventually doctors managed to stabilise her and she was taken to Addenbrooke's in Cambridge where they have specialist services to cope with such premature babies.

A tense few weeks followed as she battled an infection but eventually she was well enough to return to Ipswich Hospital.

It was two months before the family could share their first cuddles with her as she was so frail.

Ms Bagley said: “It was just an amazing moment but she was so difficult to hold because she was so little. I was just so frightened of hurting her.”

Although Jasmine is still slightly smaller than other babies her age, and her development is a few months behind, she is otherwise 100pc healthy.

Ms Bagley said: “She will be one on October 7 and we want to have a big party and get all the family together.

“When she was first born we were too scared to be excited because we didn't know whether she was going to make it, but now we've got everything to celebrate.”

Do you know of a miracle baby who has survived against the odds? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Jasmine was born at 23 weeks. In the UK around 300 babies a year are born this early.

Babies born at 23 weeks only have a 17pc chance of survival

Around 700,000 babies are born in the UK each year. In 2003/4 there were just 4,300 babies born weighing 1lb 2oz.

Premature babies fall in to one of four categories:

Premature baby: Born before 37 weeks

Moderately premature baby: Born between 35 and 37 weeks

Very premature baby: Born between 29 and 34 weeks

Extremely premature baby: Born between 23 and 28 weeks

SOURCE: www.bliss.org - the leading national premature baby charity.

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