Melinda Guido was just 9.5 oz when she was born – 15 weeks premature – on the 30th of August last year. Doctors at the time said she was so small, ‘she could fit in the palm of her dad’s hand’. She was delivered by emergency Caesarean section after her mother, Haydee Ibarra, developed severe hyper-tension. Melinda was carried off to the neonatal intensive care unit soon after her birth, and was put on emergency treatment.
Melinda is now five months old and weighs 4lb 8oz, and is ready to be discharged. Her eyes and hearing sense are developing well, and her brain scan is “normal”.
Dr Rangaswamy Ramanathan, a pediatrician at the neo-natal unit of the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, says he is “cautiouslly optimistic Melinda will do well”.
Doctors will monitor the baby for the next six years.
Infants like Melinda are termed as ‘micropreemies’. The causes of the condition remain elusive.