244g baby believed to be the smallest one to survive

A &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2003/03/20/44723.html ' target=_blank>premature baby believed to be the smallest infant to survive was "a great blessing", her mother said yesterday as she prepared to take the little girl and her twin sister home from hospital.

The baby, named Rumaisa, weighed 244g and was the size of a mobile phone when she was delivered 14 weeks early by caesarean section at Chicago's Loyola University Medical Centre on September 19.

That is 37g smaller than the previous record-holder, Madeline Mann, who was born at the same hospital in 1989. Madeline is now a healthy 15-year-old.

Rumaisa, her twin Hiba and their Indian-born parents made their first public appearance yesterday at a news conference at the hospital. The girls were bundled in identical striped blankets, reports The Australian.

According to the Nature.com, doctors ordered the early delivery because the babies' mother Mahajabeen Shaik, originally from Hyderabad and now living in Chicago, was suffering from pre-eclampsia, a condition characterized by high &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/fun/2002/08/12/34262.html ' target=_blank>blood pressure. Without intervention, both the mother and babies' health would have been in danger.