A PREMATURE baby girl kept warm in a sandwich bag because she was so small has beaten all the odds to survive.

Lexi Lacey weighed just 14 ounces when she was born at 26 weeks.

Parents Chelsea Rowberry and Lee Lacey, aged 24 – a professional kitchen cleaner – were told that she was the first baby to be born that early at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

They were repeatedly warned that it was unlikely Lexi would survive. But the tiny tot battled against all the odds and pulled through. She is now a happy, healthy 11-week-old baby.

Miss Rowberry, aged 17, of St George’s Lane South, Worcester, said some people were still wary about enquiring after Lexi, fearing that she had not survived.

“People look quite shocked when I tell them she’s OK, a lot of people didn’t like to speak to me at first,” she said.

“But when they see her now people don’t believe me when I tell them how premature she was.”

Miss Rowberry was at her brother’s home when she started having contractions on Sunday, June 27.

“It was frightening. I rang the maternity suite and they just told me to go to sleep,” she said.

Fearing she could be having a miscarriage, Miss Rowberry rang her mother, who rang an ambulance.

Mum Gillian Rowberry said: “I think I panicked but I knew in my heart she was in labour. My biggest priority was just to make sure they were both ok.”

When they got to the hospital, Miss Rowberry was told that she was already three centimetres dilated and she gave birth to Lexi who weighed just 14 ounces.

Although Miss Rowberry was sent home the same day, she faced an agonising wait as Lexi was transferred to Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital for specialist care three days and to the Shrewsbury Royal Hospital for just over a week, before returning to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Miss Rowberry said: “It was really scary. The hospital would ring me up to tell me she needed a blood transfusion and she probably wouldn’t make it through the night.”

Lexi has now been given the all clear, but Miss Rowberry says she still gets scared because she is still so small, weighing just 5lbs 6oz.

Natalie Weston, founder of the support group Calling All Little Miracles (CALM) based at the Lavendar Children's Centre in Warndon, Worcester, said: "It is very rare for a baby that young to survive, but every year the survival rate for premature babies is getting better because of the research being carried out.

"The knowledge and technology is becoming more advanced and the basic thing is that babies are getting more help to survive."