When she was born her entire foot was the size of a fingernail and she weighed no more than a bell pepper.
Nine months later, the world’s smallest baby Emilia Grabarczyk has defied expectations and continues to make giant leaps.
Born in the Witten, west Germany, measuring just 22 centimetres and weighing a mere eight ounces, it was feared she would not survive.
But the girl, labelled ‘the little fighter’ by doctors treating her, astonished everyone and is thriving.
Emila’s foot was no bigger than an thumbnail when she was born in Germany nine months ago
She now weighs in at 7lb 2oz – a healthy weight for a newborn.
Local reports say it makes her the lightest premature baby in the world to survive.
The previous record is thought to be held by Rumaisa Rahman, who was born in the Loyola University Medical Centre in of Chicago when her mother was 25 weeks pregnant. At birth, she was eight inches tall and weighed 8.6 ounces.
Dr Bahman Gharavi, head of children and youth clinic at St Mary’s hospital in Germany, said Emilia’s survival was miraculous.
He said the joint effort of paediatricians, gynaecologists and paediatric surgeons – as well as Emilia – had made it possible.
‘Even children with a birth weight of 14 ounces rarely survive. We have to thank Emilia as well for her own survival,’ he said.
‘She is a little fighter.
‘For more than six months, it was unclear whether she would survive. Only in recent weeks she is getting more robust.’
She measured just 22cm and weighed 8 ounces when she was born prematurely last year
At the beginning of the 26th week of pregnancy Prof Dr Sven Schiermeier, chief physician of obstetrics, decided together with the parents to deliver the baby by Caesarean section.
He said that otherwise Emilia would have died in the womb as there was a problem with the placenta meaning she was not getting the nutrition needed to survive.
Usually, a foetus in the 26th week of pregnancy would have weighed around 21 ounces but the problem meant Emilia was well underweight.
Parents Lukas and Sabine Grabarczyk said there was no question as to whether they would give the child a chance even if the odds for survival were low.
But naturally, her early arrival and low birth weight was followed by a period of uncertainty.
Dr Gharavi explained complications including an increased risk of hyperactivity and learning difficulties.
Yet luckily for the girl, there are no signs of serious disability.
Emilia was initially fed with a tiny tube and nurses would use a cotton bud soaked in sugar water to soothe her and relieve pains.
The tiny tot even survived an abdominal surgery at a weight of just 12 ounces.
Proud mother Mrs Grabarczyk said: ‘There were many difficult days and many tears, but she clearly wanted to survive.’