'Miracle' baby born at 25 weeks starts school in Coventry

image copyrightAdele Callinan
image captionAnnabelle, who celebrated her fourth birthday in August, was born weighing 1lb 8oz

A "miracle" baby who was "the width of two fingers" when she was born at 25 weeks is starting primary school.

Annabelle Callinan, from Coventry, weighed 1lb 8oz at birth and was not expected to survive.

The four-year-old will now attend the same primary school her mother, Adele, went to.

Her mother, who has a chronic illness and was told she could not conceive, said: "I am so excited, I didn't think we would make it to this point."

Miss Callinan, 30, was born with situs invertus, where her major organs were on the opposite side of her body, and had only three chambers in her heart.

She has bowel disease, heart disease, is tube fed and has a stoma.

image copyrightAdele Callinan
image captionAnnabelle will attend Christ the King, Coventry, the same school her mother went to

She was "gobsmacked" when a CT scan revealed what doctors suspected to be a tumour turned out to be a foetus.

Miss Callinan went ahead with the pregnancy, despite medical advice that she and her baby were unlikely to survive.

"I was literally dying before everyone's eyes," she said. "I just knew I've got to get her to 24 weeks."

Annabelle was born by elective Caesarean section on 13 August 2015 in a procedure involving about 40 medics and both were taken straight to intensive care.

"I had her on the Thursday, I didn't actually see Annabelle until the Saturday," said Miss Callinan.

"She was the width of two fingers and was see-through. I didn't expect to actually walk out with my baby."

image copyrightAdele Callinan
image captionAnnabelle was born by elective Caesarean in a procedure involving about 40 medics

After receiving blood transfusions and treatment to repair a hole in the heart, Annabelle was eventually discharged in November 2015.

Though she uses an inhaler, she is now otherwise healthy and helps her mother change her stoma bag and administer medication.

Miss Callinan describes herself as a "wreck" but "excited" about her daughter starting school.

"She will love it, she's got lots of friends, she's so confident... she loves talking, she loves learning," she said.

"She's an absolute trouper."

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