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Second-Smallest U.S. Baby To Survive Goes Home

September 12, 1994

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ Rheagan Dickerson was about as small as a paperback and weighed just 12 ounces when she came into the world.

But once here, she was determined to stay.

Rheagan, the second-smallest baby in U.S. history to survive, went home Sunday for the first time. She’s 5 months old.

″I’m not really nervous about taking her home,″ said her mother, Joanne Dickerson. ″Rheagan is a fighter. She’s a strong little girl.″

Now a strapping 4 pounds 7 1/4 ounces, Rheagan is alert and inquisitive but still breathes pure oxygen through a tube running from her nostrils to a tank four times her size. She’s grown to 17 1/2 inches from 11 1/2 inches in length.

Doctors at All Saints Episcopal Hospital were forced to perform an emergency Caesarean section on Dickerson when she was 23 weeks pregnant because of severe pregnancy-related high blood pressure, said her obstetrician, Dr. Charles G. Langham III.

The smallest baby was a 9.9-ounce girl born at 27 weeks in 1989 at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, said Monica VanCuren, an All Saints spokeswoman.

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