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Tiny premature Scots baby defies odds with parents finally able to hold her for first time


Britain’s smallest ever premature baby, who weighed just 11 oz at birth, is continuing to defy the odds and has opened her eyes.

Baby Hannah Stibbles is now a month old, and was born on December 30 by emergency C-section at 25 weeks.

Tiny Hannah is thought to be the smallest baby ever to survive in the UK and was given a 20 per cent chance of pulling through by doctors.

Parents Ellie Paton, 17, and Brandon Stibbles, 21, have finally been able to hold the tot, who will stay in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, in Glasgow, until she is big enough to go home.



Hannah Stibbles who was born 25 weeks premature
Hannah Stibbles who was born 25 weeks premature

The couple, from Newmilns, Ayrshire, were warned by medics ‘babies that small don’t survive’ – but Hannah was strong enough to breath by herself.

They are counting down the days until Hannah can be transferred to Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, which is closer to home.

Hannah now tips the scales at 547g and her eyes have opened.

Her delighted parents have been able to feed her through a tube – although one of her lungs has collapsed, meaning she needs osulation and a nebuliser.

The couple are enjoying reading her stories and watching the tot respond as she now recognises their voices.

Proud dad Brandon said: “We have both got to hold her a couple of times.

“It’s a completely different feeling – you can either pick her up from the incubator or they can bring her over.

“We prefer that, she’s really really small.

“Her eyes have opened and she’s pretty aware now.

“She was waving at us, and we wave back.

“We are there all day, every day.”



Ellie Paton and Brandon Stibbles parents of Hannah Stibbles
Ellie Paton and Brandon Stibbles parents of Hannah Stibbles.

The couple have read her books including Dilly Duckling, and Giraffes Can’t Dance.

Ellie added: “It’s not just good for her, it’s good for us as well.

“We get to change her nappies quite often as well now.

“Because she’s got chronic lung disease there’s a really high chance she will need oxygen when she’s discharged.

“She’s done amazingly well.”

During a rollercoaster month, Hannah’s lungs both collapsed, but have since reinflated.

The couple were stunned when a kindhearted stranger set up a fundraising page to help them out financially.

They are having to do their laundry at a petrol station and face costs for staying in a hotel.

So far £320 has been raised of a £1,000 target.

They have yet to see their families, and have not been back to Ayrshire while no relatives have yet met Hannah.

Brandon added: “She definitely recognises our voices when we speak to her.

“She starts waving her hands.

“She gets dead relaxed when we hold her, Hannah absolutely loves skin to skin contact.

“The best her numbers have been is when she has cuddles.



Nappies for tiny Hannah Stibbles born on December 30 by emergency c-section
Nappies for tiny Hannah Stibbles born on December 30 by emergency c-section

“We got to hold her for about three and a half hours.

“Her numbers were the best they’ve ever been.

“We are spending all day every day with Hannah and haven’t seen our families.

“We are more bothered by being by Hannah all the time.”

To donate visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/hannah-stibbles-story.

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