Boy who weighed less than an iPad may be most premature to be born in UAE, says Zulekha Hospital doctor

Baby Nicholas
Susie Sacramento cradles son Nicholas watched by husband Christopher and Dr Monika Kaushal


Dubai, UAE, 7 February 2016: The parents of a baby who weighed less than an iPad when born 14 weeks prematurely in Dubai have paid an emotional tribute to the medical team who performed a “miracle” to keep their son alive.

Digital sales specialist Christopher Sacramento and his wife Susie have been told that son Nicholas is possibly the most premature baby to survive in the UAE.

He was born when Mrs Sacramento was in her 23rd week of pregnancy, weighing just 530 grams, and spent almost four months in Zulekha Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Dubai.

Nicholas – classed as a micro preemie because he weighed less than 900 grams – is now doing well at home with his parents. But at one point doctors feared the child may not live because his skin was so delicate it would tear if they touched it.

They have now been praised by Mr Sacramento in a letter to Dr Zulekha Daud, Chairperson of Zulekha Hospitals and one of the pioneers of healthcare in UAE.

“We stayed in hospital for almost four months,” he said. “It is long and very emotional. It is very challenging, but full of miracle.”

Added Mr Sacramento: “You have a great team. A team you can trust and consider a family. Not all patients see your team at the NICU pray for all the babies. But we see them do it every day.

“Your team have the passion for their duties and responsibilities. But most of all, they have the heart, they share the same pain, they share their happiness, they share their love.”

In the letter, Mr Sacramento paid special tribute to Consultant Neonatologist Dr Monika Kaushal, doctors: Rensa Sherif, Shumail Ahmed Malik, Abdul Aziz Usman Qureshi, Abdul Malik Jawaid, Mamta Surendra Bothra, along with Sister Manju Abraham, Jyotheendra, and all other nurses at the NICU team who watched his son during his stay at the hospital.

Dr. Kaushal said: “Nicholas is likely to be the most premature baby to survive in this country. At birth he weighed just 530 gm, much less than an iPad.”

“He belongs to a new group of babies known as micro-preemies as they weigh less than 900 gm. The chance of survival and normal development for a 23-week preterm infant is normally very bleak and Nicholas’s survival is intact since there was no damage to brain, lungs or eyes.”

Dr Kaushal added: “While the first ‘golden hour’ after birth is crucial for premature babies, this is reduced to a ‘golden ten minutes’ in neonatal care.”

“Nicholas was given special medicine for his lungs, special equipment for temperature maintenance, transport, and hooked to a ventilator in NICU. He survived despite having immature lungs, immature gut, brain and skin, fragile bones and, above all, infections. We could not touch him as his skin would tear instantly.”

But after 110 days of nurturing in the Zulekha Hospital NICU in Dubai, Nicholas, weighing a much healthier 1.9 kg, was able to go home with his parents.

Mr. Taher Shams, Managing Director said, “We offer heartfelt congratulations to Nicolas’ parents and our team who have worked passionately in ensuring the most efficient, competent and courteous services to our customers in line with our vision as a leading healthcare provider.”

Currently, Nicholas requires special check-ups on his physical growth and neurological development on a weekly basis, but his visits to Zulekha Hospital should become less frequent with time, according to Dr Kaushal.

Dr. Syed Mujtaba Hussain, Director Medical & Administration said, “On behalf of Zulekha Hospital management, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dr Monika Kaushal and the NICU team for their great efforts and contribution in providing excellent care to this extreme premature new born baby. We are proud to have such committed work force in our hospital”.


Comments 1

  • Thank you Zuleikha hospital management and all doctors and nurses in NICU for taking care of my nephew, Nicholas. More power and God bless you all.