Abi Peters, the youngest ever patient to undergo an operation at St George’s, turns one this week.

Baby Abi was born on 26 October 2016 at just 23 weeks gestation, and required emergency surgery when she was 6 days old and weighing only 609g (1.3lbs).

The surgery involved St George’s paediatric surgeon Mr Zahid Mukhtar and his team correcting a serious condition of the gut affecting pre-term babies called perforated necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC.

Abi was born prematurely at St Peter’s Hospital in  Chertsey, before being transferred to the neonatal unit at St George’s for specialist care.

She required surgery having ruptured her intestine in three places. Fortunately, the surgery was successful, and Abi is now doing extremely well, and celebrates her first birthday on Thursday this week.

Her original due date was 19 February, and her amazing story generated headlines all over the world in March of this year.

In all, Abi spent 124 nights in hospital before being discharged home for the first time. But has thrived ever since.

Mr Mukhtar said: “It is fantastic to see how well little Abi is doing, thanks to her supportive family, and the care she has received both at St George’s, and St Peter’s. Abi’s chances of survival without surgery were so small that we agreed operating was her only option. To see her doing so well, and celebrating her first birthday, is great for everyone connected with her case.”

Abi’s mum Louise shared the family’s story at the St George’s Annual Members Meeting’ in September this year.

She said: “It has been an incredibly challenging year, and one that we will never forget. We have experienced so many highs and lows as a family, so to be celebrating Abi’s birthday this week means a huge amount to us, and we remain forever grateful to the NHS and the wonderful care we’ve received.”