Born the size of a standard ruler and only slightly heavier than a block of butter, Reagan Smart has defied the odds.

Ashhurst baby Reagan Smart was just 23 weeks and six days old when her mother suffered a placental abruption, when the placenta detached from the wall of the womb prematurely, forcing doctors to perform a caesarean section. She was born on December 3 at just 715 grams and 31 centimetres long and has so far spent her life in hospital.

Both mother Dania Smart and child were initially at risk, and they were fortunate things worked out. 

“If I had been at home, I would not have made it and neither would Reagan.”

Smart went to hospital following a fall in early December, but was told “everything was fine”. “But [they] gave me the option of being flown down to Wellington, so they could keep an eye on me,” Smart said. Once she arrived, she began having cramps. “They rushed me into theatre.” Forty-five minutes later Reagan was born, but her mother did not get to see her until the next day. 

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