A BABY girl born weighing less than two pounds has “defied the odds” after a “rocky start” to her life.

Aurora Dakota John was  just one pound and seven ounces when she was born - when her mother, Alicia Sparks, was just 26 weeks along in her pregnancy.

A full-term pregnancy lasts for around 280 days – or 40 weeks – while an extremely premature baby is born between 23 and 28 weeks.

South Wales Argus:

“After my waters ruptured early and with efforts of trying to hold off my labour unfortunately, I contracted maternal sepsis,” said Ms Sparks, who lives in Risca.

“Baby Aurora was delivered via emergency caesarean section at 26 weeks.

“She’s had an incredibly rocky start after she contracted sepsis and got very, very poorly, but she’s defied the odds and pulled through.”

South Wales Argus:

Sepsis is a complication of a severe infection; the immune system overreacts to the infection and attacks organs and other tissues.

Symptoms of sepsis include:

  • Loss of consciousness;
  • Severe breathlessness
  • High or low body temperature;
  • Change in mental state – like confusion or disorientation;
  • Slurred speech;
  • Cold, clammy and pale or mottled skin;
  • Fast heartbeat/fast breathing;
  • Chills and shivering;
  • Severe muscle pain;
  • Feeling dizzy or faint;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Diarrhoea.

When sepsis occurs in pregnant women it’s called maternal sepsis and – without quick treatment – can lead to organ failure and death.

Baby Aurora was born at Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran on January 6, 2023, and weighed just one pound and seven ounces.

South Wales Argus:

At six weeks old, Aurora had surgery at University Hospital Southampton. She was then taken back to Grange University Hospital to put on weight ahead of her next operation.

“Aurora has been through so much and is doing really well considering,” added Ms Sparks.

South Wales Argus:

Aurora Dakota John is the child of Alicia Sparks and Zarik John and has three older siblings: 13-year-old Tia, 11-year-old Dylan, and eight-year-old Freya.