Baby born so tiny she was put in sandwich bag to keep warm

A newborn was so small when she was arrived that doctors put her in a sandwich bag to keep her warm and simulate her mother’s womb.

Faith Findlay was born weighing an astonishing 1lb 15oz when she was delivered 15 weeks premature by emergency c-section on September 13 2020.

She was immediately placed in a see through sandwich bag at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, to prevent her body temperature dropping, Teesside Live reports.

The tiny tot was lighter than half a bag of sugar and small enough to fit in her mum’s hand, with medics rushing her to intensive care after she was born.

Her parents, from Catterick in North Yorkshire, were told by doctors that she may not survive, Yorkshire Live reports.

Faith battled a hole in her heart and a brain injury – a spot on the brain which could indicate brain damage- and had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit for 79 days.

But miraculously, tiny Faith defied the odds and she is now at home and thriving – seven months on.

Mum Vanessa Findlay, 32, a waitress, said: “They put her in this little bag to keep her warm and to mimic my womb.

“I was so shocked at how small she was.”

Vanessa and her husband, Kurt, 32, a lance corporal, were overjoyed to have their little girl home after a traumatic pregnancy and nervous few months.

Mum-of-three Vanessa suffered hyperemesis gravidarum – a condition causing horrific constant vomiting and nausea – for most of the pregnancy and had to be on bed rest.

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Vanessa said: “It was such a horrible pregnancy and I was always scared I was going to lose her.

“When she was born she let out a little squeaky cry then she was rushed away to intensive care.

“She was just so tiny with all of these wires around her.

“Amazingly she pulled through and came home.

“I don’t think I slept a wink that first night she was back.”

Vanessa found out she was pregnant in May 2020 when her husband, Kurt, was away in Afghanistan with the army.

“I had lost babies before and had complications so I was deemed high risk,” Vanessa said.

Vanessa started to become very ill with hyperemesis gravidarum and was in and out of hospital as she became very dehydrated to the point her veins collapsed.

Faith was born at a tiny 1lbs 15oz on the 13th September 2020.
Faith was born at a tiny 1lbs 15oz on the 13th September 2020.

“It was horrific and with Kurt not at home I had to still look after my two boys which I could hardly do,” she said.

Vanessa was having regular scans and at 19 weeks medics discovered she had little to no cervix left and would have to have emergency surgery to have a stitch put in to keep her cervix closed.

“My consultant called my husband home at this point which was such a relief,” Vanessa said.

“After the surgery I was on strict bed rest.”

The doctors had also managed to do a test which had determined that Vanessa would likely go into early labour.

“At 22 weeks my water broke but they kept me in the hospital and tried to keep the baby inside me as long as possible,” she said.

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Vanessa managed to make it to 26 weeks before her contractions started and she was taken to the delivery ward at the James Cook University Hospital to have her baby.

Vanessa – who is also mum to Timothy, 13, and Kae, nine – said: “They had to take my stitches out first and then in 15 minutes she was out.

Vanessa Findlay with baby Faith.
Vanessa Findlay with baby Faith.

“I was so relieved when I heard a little cry.”

Faith was born at a tiny 1lbs 15oz on the 13th September 2020.

Vanessa and Kurt were able to see Faith later that day.

“She looked so tiny with all the wires and in her incubator,” she said.

“We had no idea if she would make it.”

She still has a hole in her heart now but doctors are hoping it will close up on its own.

Vanessa and Kurt were able to take their baby daughter home on December 2.

Thankfully little Faith, although still tiny, is doing well at home.

“We didn’t know until the day that we could take her home,” Vanessa said.

“The hospital suddenly rang and said: ‘Bring the car seat.’”

Now Faith is home, she is a healthy one year old and is doing really well.

“She’s still quite a tiny one-year-old but she’s a little fighter,” Vanessa said.

“I’m so happy that she is healthy and thriving.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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