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Teeniest preemie finally heads home

/ Source: The Associated Press

One of the world's smallest preemies finally got to head home.

Amillia Sonja Taylor has known only an incubator for a bed at Baptist Children’s Hospital since she was delivered in October after less than 22 weeks in the womb. But her parents got to take her home on Wednesday.

“The baby is healthy and thriving and left Baptist Children’s Hospital today after four months in our neonatal intensive care unit,” hospital spokeswoman Liz Latta said.

Amillia, who was just 9½ inches at birth and weighed less than 10 ounces, will still require oxygen at home and a developmental specialist will follow up with her and her parents to track her neurological development.

The infant now weighs about 4½ pounds and is just over 15½ inches long.

Amillia’s parents, Eddie and Sonja Taylor of Homestead declined to speak with reporters Wednesday.

Doctors had hoped to release Amillia from the hospital Tuesday but kept her an extra day to monitor a low white blood cell count that could have indicated a vulnerability to infection.

Full-term births come after 37 to 40 weeks, and few babies born before 22 weeks survive.

Amillia suffered respiratory and digestive problems, as well as a mild brain hemorrhage, but doctors believe those problems will not have major long-term effects.

Amillia was conceived in vitro and was delivered by Caesarean section after an infection caused her mother to go into premature labor, doctors said.