A "little miracle" born four months premature and weighing an astonishing one pound has defied the odds after recently celebrating her first birthday.

Sanna Nieminen, 38 and of Abbey Wood, gave birth to baby Sayanna when she was 23 weeks and five days into her pregnancy.

The early arrival weighed just 1lb 6oz (630 grams) so was immediately rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, where she received specialist care for four months.

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Little Sayanna was born four months early.

"As soon as Sayanna was born we were told that she was very small and was unlikely to make it.

"But when I saw her kicking I told the midwife to do everything she could to help her.

"Our local hospital didn’t have the facilities to care for such a premature baby so we were rushed to the specialist neonatal unit at Evelina London.

"She was really sick in the beginning and I felt hopeless because there wasn’t much I could do for her," said Sanna.

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Mum Sanna with little Sayanna.

Sayanna spent a month on life support; suffered kidney failure; underwent an operation to repair a hernia and received 13 blood transfusions while in intensive care.

"It was an emotional rollercoaster because one day she would be doing well only to go downhill again the next.

"I was so anxious all of the time and scared that she wasn’t going to make it. After a month I said ‘I need help’," said a brave Sanna who later went on to avail of psychological support while in hospital.

Dr Rebecca Chilvers, lead clinical psychologist in the neonatal unit at Evelina London, said: "Having a baby admitted to a neonatal unit can be a very stressful and challenging time for parents, who often feel shocked, frightened and experience a sense of helplessness and, at times, hopelessness.

"People often worry about upsetting their families and friends but this can leave them having to manage their difficult feelings on their own.

"Having someone to talk to who understands the neonatal unit can help reduce the immediate and long-term impact on their mental health and emotional well-being."

Since then, the miracle baby has come along in leaps and bounds with continued monitoring by Evelina London every three months.

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Sayanna celebrates first birthday with loving family.

"It’s still a bit of a mystery about why she was born so early.

"She’s our little miracle, everybody is surprised at how well she is doing considering what she went through.

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"Her sisters, Lola and Lilly, are very excited to have her home.

"We’re celebrating Sayanna’s first birthday at home with cake, which is very fitting as Evelina London is marking its 150th anniversary this year.

"I’m so grateful to all the wonderful people at the hospital who helped to save her life and who supported me through such a difficult time."