Miracle premature baby is now a neonatal doctor to help babies just like her

4th November 2019

Copy of Add a little bit of body text 29                                                                      Sabina has a special bond with the babies she cares for because of her own battle

A woman who was a miracle premature baby has become a doctor 32 years later and is determined to help other vulnerable children like herself. SPUC says Sabina’s story is a “wonderful example of caring for tiny babies at the earliest stages of their lives”.

In 1986, Sabina Checkett was born dangerously prematurely two and a half months early. Weighing less than 3lbs, she could fit into the palm of her dad’s hand and was given a 50% chance of survival.

After three months in Norwich Children’s Hospital, Sabina beat the odds and returned home.

Now aged 32, Sabina works in Evelina Children’s Hospital in London as a neonatal doctor, dedicating her career to help save vulnerable babies.

Sabina said that because of her own battle in early life, she has a special bond with the babies she cares for.

SPUC Campaign Research Officer, Margaret Akers said: “It is wonderful that Sabina has the same dedication in protecting other tiny premature babies”.

“I was just like them all those years ago”

Sabina said: “My school did some fundraising for our local neonatal unit, and because the school knew I was born there prematurely, I went along to visit. After walking on the ward and seeing all of the newborn babies in their cots, I came home and told my mum I wanted to be a doctor.

“I was just like them all those years ago and now I'm helping to look after them”.

Growing survival rates for premature babies

Evidence provided by Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, John Wyatt, shows that a baby born at 23 weeks old has a 50% chance of surviving. His evidence illustrates that 30 years ago, less than 20% of babies born before 28 weeks of gestation survived. However, advances in medical care at the beginning of life have transformed the prospects of survival for premature babies.

Evidence now affirms that 35% of babies born four months premature at 22 weeks old now survive if treated.