Shanghai, China, October 24, 2013
By: Jenny Xu, Project HOPE Shanghai
Premature Baby Lily with Abbott Fund of Nutrition Science and Project HOPE team at Shanghai Children's Medical Center

A young woman from New Zealand, who was 27 weeks pregnant, came to Shanghai to visit a friend in June.  Quite unexpectedly she gave birth just three hours after arriving in Shanghai.  The little preterm baby girl – who was named Lily – weighed only 950 grams at birth.

Lily was sent to the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center’s NICU immediately after her birth.  SCMC neonatologists and the Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Science (AFINS) nutrition team identified Lily’s medical needs.  AFINS is a partnership initiative established by Project HOPE and the Abbott Fund, the philanthropic arm of global health care company Abbott, to improve nutrition protocols for children in China.

Lily was so small that she needed a detailed nutrition support plan to support her growth and development.  AFINS experts talked to Lily’s mother and encouraged her to breast feed since human milk can protect a preterm baby’s vulnerable intestines and provide the nutrition and immunological factors that are essential for a premature baby.  Doctors also prescribed parenteral nutrition (to be given through infusions) because the baby could only tolerate 3 ml of human milk every three hours.

Baby Lily with the nurse who took care of her at Shanghai Children's Medical Center

With the meticulous care by SCMC and AFINS staff, Lily got bigger and stronger.  40 days after her birth, her weight was 1650 gram (3.64 Ib) and she could tolerate 20 ml breast milk; she did not need parenteral nutrition anymore although she was still in an incubator.

In the beginning of this September, upon the request of the mother, a rescue team from New Zealand came to Shanghai to transfer Lily back to her parents’ hometown in New Zealand. The rescue team was highly complementary of the treatment and care Lily received at SCMC. Lily’s parents also sent Project HOPE staff and the SCMC team a thank you note.

Through the email communication Project HOPE received, we know that Lily is very well and is expected to be healthy when she is discharged from the hospital in New Zealand.

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