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Tiny Premature Baby Survives Thanks to a Pair of Scissors Accidentally Left on Scale

by Nicole Fabian-Weber on December 17, 2012 at 11:26 AM

baby feetThe fact that Maddalena Douse was born at just 23 weeks, and is the youngest premature baby ever to survive in the UK, is a miracle in and of itself. But the reason she's alive makes the entire situation all the more miraculous. See, current guidelines in England don't suggest providing active care for babies born 22 weeks and 6 days or before. But when they put Maddalena on the scale, and realized that she weighed 1 pound -- the minimum weight for a baby to be considered "viable" -- they fought to keep her alive. Here's the thing, though -- Maddalena wasn't 1 pound. A pair of scissors had been accidentally left on the scale, making it seem like she weighed that much. And now, well, here she is.

Maddalena was discharged from Royal Sussex Hospital recently at the age of 6 months old, and she's expected to grow into a healthy child. Oh, and she's adorable. Sadly, though, she had a twin sister, Isabella, who died a few weeks after the girls were born. Maddalena's parents, Kate and Renato, are obviously thrilled with their daughter -- who is, in every sense of the term, a miracle baby.

I honestly have no idea what it would be like for a mother to give birth to a very premature baby -- and know that the hospital has a "cut-off", so to speak, in terms of how, or if, they're going to fight for a child's life. It's truly unimaginable. And heartbreaking. And no parent should ever have to go through something like that. I can't even begin to fathom what it was like for Kate and Renato as they waited to find out how much their sweet baby weighed -- because it would directly correlate to the care she would receive. In a word: Awful.

But let's try to focus on the good today -- I think we could all use some good right now. This little angel is meant to be on this Earth. Plain and simple. There's really no other way to explain the scissors being left on the scale, bumping up her weight. Who knows how they got there, or why they weren't taken off -- I like to think that some nurse was very kind and left them on there. It's nice to imagine there's someone like that in the world.

What do you think of this?


Image via andrewmalone/Flickr

Filed Under: in the news


  • Heath...


    December 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    My cousins baby weighed 13 ounces at 23 weeks. They handed him to her and did not try to save him. He survuved for 45 minutes in her arms. The same thing happened to a friend of mine in the Army to. These type of situations make me sick.

  • Heath...


    December 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    survived* sorry didnt spell check.

  • Siren...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Sirena Robinson

    December 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM
    Most times those minimums are to set a point at which the hospital provides care IF and ONLY if the parents want to allow natural death to occur from a micro preemie. If the parents want the hospital to care for the child, then they will.
  • Melis...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Melissa Sue Brown

    December 17, 2012 at 12:09 PM
    i would have to disagree with the statment above... the hospitals do what they want no matter what the parent wants.. in 2007 i gave birthto twin girls at 22 weeks.. first born kaedence lived for an hour second born kierstin lived for 48 min... i begged and begged and beed and then begged some more o save my babies and hey just refused...they both weighed a pound.. sorry for there loss.. but, so happy they get to take here daugher home
  • mumma28


    December 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM
    Best story cafe mom has reported. I'm tired of hearing about people killing kids and molesting them. An angel put those scissors on the scale. Amen.
  • lilli...


    December 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    I had a preemie myslef and knowing how much these little ones have to fight for every little breath and every day. I am amazed that this little girl has no medical issues or has no lasting effects from being born so early. I am just going to say that the little girl certianly had a guardian angel looking after her.



  • amanda
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM
    Wasn't there a baby years ago born at a little over 21 or so weeks and just a few ounces and lived? Read about it when my little girl was in the NICU
  • Megan...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Megan Sebero

    December 17, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    my son was born at 26 weeks weighing 1 lb 8oz. It makes me sick knowing that there is a weight limit to determine if the baby should get medical treatment to help it survive. It should not matter, the baby already beat the odds by coming into this world so small why not give them a fighting chance. I would have been heartbroken and maybe even done unthinkalbe things to ensure my baby got the treatment he needed if somebody told me sorry you son doesn't reach the weight limit for medical attention. Complete BS. This law needs to change.

  • Amand...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Amanda Poole

    December 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM
  • melis...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    melissa e

    December 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM
    My daughter was born at 26 weeks only weighing 1 lb 8 oz, the hospital asked is if we want them to try and save here, we said yes!!! She stopped breathing 3 times. She was on a breathing machine for the first month and a half, 20+ meds, she came home at 3 1/2 months on oxygen and a dozen meds, i was 19 my husband was 21. Today she is a rambunctious 6 yr old her only problems cp and she's deaf
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