A “miracle” baby born at 24 weeks’ gestation with feet the size of a penny has defied doctors who said she’d never walk or talk. The 5-year-old is now in primary school.
Francesca Bradley-Curran was born 48 hours after the abortion limit, where doctors would have legally deemed her not “viable” to save.
Weighing just 1 pound 6 ounces (approx. 0.62 kg), doctors warned her mother, Victoria Bradley, 41, and dad Paul Curran, 51, that even if she did survive, she would never walk or talk properly.
However, the little schoolgirl from Liverpool, Merseyside, England, has continued to defy all odds.
Francesca started her first year of primary school last September, wearing clothes two years above her age group.
Victoria said: “From the minute she opens her eyes, she’s a constant ball of energy.
“It’s crazy to think that the doctors told us even if she did survive she would never walk or talk, but now we can’t get her to sit still or be quiet.”
“When I talk to other premature baby mums their children are all still really small but Francesca wears aged 6–8 clothes and she has perfect vision,” Victoria said.
“She battled meningitis, pneumonia, three bouts of sepsis, two collapsed lungs, acute kidney injury, and had 16 blood transfusions and laser eye surgery before she left hospital.
“Every day I look at her and think she is my walking, talking miracle.”
Francesca hit headlines in 2017 after her parents took a photograph of a penny next to her feet, which were the same size as the 17-millimeter (0.67-inch) coin.
Victoria now shows Francesca the images and videos of her when she was a baby to explain why she is so special.
“I showed her a video that came up on my Facebook memories of her when she was born and she realizes that she was very ill and very small,” Victoria said.
“She saw another video where someone called her the baby with the penny-sized feet and she asked me ‘why do they think I have penny feet.’ I explained that we had put a penny next to her feet when she was born and she decided to lay down next to one and I think it made her realize just how small she really was.”
The proud mom added: “Even I struggle to remember just how tiny she was.
“I look back and pictures and videos and it’s the picture with the penny that really helps me realize the scale of it.
“It’s still emotional to look back, I think ‘how did I cope and get through that,’ it was such a scary time.”
Epoch Times Staff contributed to this report.