Meet the 'Bubble Wrap Baby' who weighed less than a pound

·4 min read

Watch: Premature baby born 15 weeks early, weighing less than 1lb, kept safe and warm in bubble wrap

A premature baby, born 15 weeks early and weighing less than 1lb, was so fragile doctors decided to keep him safe and warm in bubble wrap.

Larenz Carr, now one, arrived on 28th October 2019 at St Michael's Hospital, Bristol, when his mother was only 25 weeks pregnant.

The tiny newborn weighed just 13oz and doctors opted to pop him into a sandwich bag to regulate his temperature by mimicking his mother's womb.

Little Larenz was then placed in an incubator, where he was wrapped in bubble wrap to keep warm.

Larenz was born weing less than 1lb and so fragile he was kept safe and warm in bubble wrap. (SWNS)
Larenz was born weing less than 1lb and so fragile he was kept safe and warm in bubble wrap. (SWNS)

After five months in the neonatal intensive care unit at Southmead hospital, Bristol, doctors declared he was big and strong enough to head home with his parents, Vickie Carr, 29, and Rohan Carr, 32, a customer service advisor.

It is believed that Larenz is one of the tiniest babies to survive, with doctors shocked that he had such a strong heart beat when he was born. 

The baby was so small his skin was see-through, which meant you could see his organs.

But he defied all the odds to come home and is now thriving, with no developmental delays, much to the surprise and delight of doctors and his proud parents.

Read more: Baby born smaller than dad's hand and given 10% chance of survival, finally makes it home

Doctors placed Larenz in a sandwich bag to regulate his temperature by mimicking his mother's womb. (SWNS)
Doctors placed Larenz in a sandwich bag to regulate his temperature by mimicking his mother's womb. (SWNS)
Baby Larenz Carr was born 15 weeks early. (SWNS)
Baby Larenz Carr was born 15 weeks early. (SWNS)

“Larenz looked quite scary when I saw first laid eyes on him," his mum Vickie, a driving instructor, from Southmead, Bristol, explains. 

"He was so tiny. He was like a little alien with his skin all shiny and see-through.

"It's incredible that medics saved his life - by popping him in a sandwich bag and bubble wrap to keep him safe and warm.

“It’s just amazing that nothing was wrong with him and he’s come home healthy and thriving.

“He’s walking and not delayed at all - it's amazing."

Watch: Pampers donates its smallest nappies to premature babies in the UK. 

Vickie’s pregnancy had been going smoothly until doctor's noticed that her baby wasn't growing at a routine 20-week scan in September 2019.

They continued to monitor the first-time mum-to-be and when she returned with a headache at 21 weeks they told her they would have to keep her in hospital and that her baby may need to be born early.

"They told me they wanted to keep my baby in my tummy for as long as possible," Vickie explains. 

"It was terrifying, I had no idea if my baby boy would make it."

Read more: Mum who caught coronavirus when 30 weeks pregnant is finally home – after doctors feared she wouldn’t survive

Mum Vickie with her baby Larenz Carr. (SWNS)
Mum Vickie with her baby Larenz Carr. (SWNS)

Vickie managed to hold on until 25 weeks and four days when doctors spotted that her placenta was failing and rushed her for an emergency C-section.

Larenz arrived into the world weighing just 13oz (380g) on 28th October 2019 at St Michael's Hospital, Bristol.

"I didn't see him before he was whisked away, but my husband, Rohan got a glimpse and saw how tiny he was," Vickie adds.

"When I went down to the neonatal intensive care unit a few hours later I was so shocked at how small he was.

"He was the same size as my hand and so transparent.

"He looked all shiny, like he was covered in oil."

Read more: Mum proud of 'little fighter' with birth defect which means he was born with one arm and no legs

Larenz is now one and thriving at home. (SWNS)
Larenz is now one and thriving at home. (SWNS)

Miraculously, Larenz responded well to treatment, with doctors monitoring him in hospital until he grew stronger and could breathe independently.

He was later transferred to Southmead Hospital, Bristol, where he spent five months before returning home in March 2020, weighing 5lbs, and without any oxygen support.

"He's now 20lbs and walking," Vickie says of her little "fighter". 

"He's so determined.

"When people find out how small he was when he was born, they can't believe how incredible he is.

"He's just a normal baby that you would have never known was premature.

"He's amazing".

Larenz Carr, one, with his mum Vickie and dad Rohan. (SWNS)
Larenz Carr, one, with his mum Vickie and dad Rohan. (SWNS)

Dad Rohan adds: "When I first saw Larenz I was so scared and worried about what the outcome would be.

"I'd never seen a baby so small.

"We were just so happy he was alive and to see how he is thriving now is amazing.

"He's our little miracle."

Additional reporting SWNS.

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