The Starbucks peppermint latte I’m sipping weighs nearly 3 oz. more than Rumaisa Rahman did at birth. The tiny twin, born in 2004 at Loyola University Medical Center weighing 9.2 oz., holds the record of world’s smallest baby. She unseated the previous title-holder, Madeline Mann, born 15 years earlier at 9.9 oz., also at Loyola.
Dr. Jonathan Muraskas resuscitated both babies, who are now 7 and 22. A Loyola professor of pediatrics and neonatal/perinatal medicine, Muraskas knows a thing or two about extremely low birthweight babies born the size of cell phones. And now he’s published a study in Pediatrics that looks at the girls’ outcomes several years down the road.
Amazingly, both micropreemies have reached appropriate developmental milestones in both motor and language skills. Rumaisa is a first-grader, and Madeline is an honors student at Augustana College in Rockland, Ill. They have thrived, but their stories should not be interpreted as the norm and could even “propagate false expectations for families, caregivers and the medico-legal community alike,” according to the research.