Baby Leighton was a little 760 grams when he was born in 2018. The doctors called him "unbounded" and even asked his parents whether they should try to resuscitate if things went south.
"We were still asking," Are you sure? Are you sure? "" Mama Bree Vine told 7 newspapers. "They told me he could leave with long-term problems."
Leighton survived. It was sealed with an oxygen-filled plastic bag that helped him develop weak lungs.
"I was scared," Bree said. "I felt as if I just touched him that I wanted to break him, he was so small and so fragile."
Bree's baby was born 17 weeks too early. Photo: 7 News
"Technology mimics the uterus"
The use of plastic bags to incubate premature babies is not a new technology. Scientists have been researching it for lambs since 2017.
In lambs, the bags are filled with a fetal lung and connected to an artificial placenta. The device replaces the uterus of premature animals.
Children born at 23 weeks are usually placed in the incubator and placed on fans to help them breathe. According to the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, it can damage lung development.
"The challenge we are trying to face is that a 23- to 24-week-old child who is facing such a challenge to adapt to life outside the uterus on dry soil breathes the air when it is not supposed to be," said Dr. . Emily Partridge BBC.
In Australia, about 68 babies are born prematurely every day. Those who were born in the 23rd week of pregnancy have a 20 to 30 percent chance of survival.
Leighton is now healthy for eight months. Photo: 7 News
"It's a miracle and a half"
Now is a healthy eight-year-old child, Leighton is one of the smallest preconditions for surviving in WA.
"It's a miracle and a half," said his proud mother. "Even doctors say they avoid all the benefits."