Having made medical history, Melinda Star Guido, believed to be the third smallest birth-weight infant ever to survive, left the hospital amid fanfare
One of the world's smallest surviving babies, Melinda Star Guido was so tiny when she was born at 24 weeks that she could fit in the palm of her mother's hand.
Melinda Star Guido was born last August, 16 weeks early, weighing only 9.5 ounces (270 grams) -- less than a can of soda or the same as two iPhones -- and has spent nearly five months in a neo-natal intensive care unit. Now weighing 4.5 pounds, (2.01 kg) doctors have given her 22-year-old mother Haydee Ibarra the all clear to take her 'miracle baby' home for the first time.
Homeward bound: Melinda with her mom and dad leaving the hospital after she was kept under intensive neo-natal care.
"I am so excited to finally have my baby come home," said her mother Haydee Ibarra. "We have waited almost five months for this moment. It is so wonderful and we are ready to bring Melinda home."
Melinda has been growing steadily and gaining weight since she was born in August, almost four months before she was due, at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
She is the world's third smallest baby and the second smallest in the US.
It's too early to know how she will fare developmentally and physically, but doctors planned to monitor her for the next six years.
Melinda has beaten all odd making steady progress since she was born at 24 weeks. pics/afp
Dr Rangasamy Ramanathan, neonatology chief at the LA County-USC Medical Center, said he wasn't initially sure if Melinda was going to survive beyond a few days.
"This doesn't happen every day. In my 30 years here ... this is the first time it ever happened that we were able to discharge a baby who weighed less than 400 grams, or 300 grams," he said.
"We have reached a milestone by being able to see Melinda go home," he added .
260 g The weight (9.2 ounces) of the smallest surviving baby born. The baby is now a 7-year-old