Little Esme Poulsom has made a miraculous survival after being born weighing just 1lb 6oz and given a one per cent chance of life.
The baby, now eight months old, was delivered four months premature at just 19 weeks and her parents were told she had virtually no chance of survival.
Mum Kirsty Barrett is now filing a formal complaint against medics who she said ‘gave up’ on Esme before she was even born.
The 24-year-old went into labour after just 19 weeks – and her waters broke four days later.
Staff at the Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny, Wales told her she’d either miscarry or give birth within 24 hours – but she did neither.
Doctors advised Kirsty and her partner Gareth Poulsom to choose an abortion as the baby had literally no chance of surviving without waters.
The couple refused and Kirsty was discharged from hospital – with periodic contractions – to rest at home.
"I was told at Nevill Hall that if I got to 23 weeks I could have steroids to stop the contractions and help viability at around 24 weeks,” she told SWNS.
"But when I reached 23 weeks I was told they wouldn¹t give me steroids because they felt I would miscarry. It felt like they had given up."
Kirsty contacted the nearby Royal Gwent Hospital who agreed to give Kirsty a steroid injection.
"Looking back, I can’t believe two hospitals in the same area could have such a different approach,” she said.
She had to have an emergency caesarean a week later after developing blood poisoning and little Esme was born on December 18th - four weeks before her April due date.
“They didn’t think Esme would survive because she’d had no waters for five weeks. There was a one per cent chance,” said Kirsty.
"They thought they would give her to us and she would pass away. But she was born crying. They couldn’t believe it.”
The couple were warned that there could be a couple of weeks when things go well and then they go downhill – but they didn’t.
Esme’s condition continued to improve and she was transferred to a special care baby unit – but Kirsty feared her respiratory system hadn’t developed properly and she was taking milk into her lungs.
Despite her concerns, the hospital told the couple it was a ‘bug’ and she was discharged from hospital after 100 days – even though she was coughing and choking while feeding.
"She was getting worse. One day, going to Nevill Hall, she stopped breathing in the car. I had to resuscitate her,” she said.
"They told us it was bronchiolitis, that she¹d caught a bug. She seemed to pick up on antibiotics. I said I was concerned again about aspiration, they said again it was a bug."
Esme stopped breathing twice, with Kirsty and Gareth having to resuscitate her and she was transferred to a specialist unit at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.
One of the baby’s lungs had collapsed and they were told to expect the worst – but she pulled through and was allowed to return home.
Now, attempts are being made to re-inflate the eight-month-old’s partially collapsed lung and she may require a tube to be fitted in her stomach to help her swallow.
“We don’t know if her lung will fully reflate,” said the mum of two.
"If my concerns had been listened to at the beginning, this could have been avoided."
The couple are preparing a complaint to the Aneurin Bevan Health Board over the handling of their daughter Esme’s case.
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