But three months on since 65-year-old Annegret Raunigk gave birth to quadruplets, mother and babies have been given the green light to leave hospital by the end of the month.
According to the head of the Neonatology Department at Berlin’s Charite Hospital, Annegret and her four babies are now strong enough to face the outside world.
Doctors were extremely concerned at the time that the very premature babies would not survive, with tiny baby girl Neeta weighing just 1lb 7oz when she was born.
Neeta’s three brothers were almost as small – with Benceweighing 1lb 8oz, Fjonn 1lb 10oz and Dries 2lb 2oz – and the severely underweight babies had to be kept in incubators for the first week of their lives.
Experts warned that, even if they did pull through, they could suffer lifelong health problems including lung, intestinal, eye and brain complaints.
But Professor Christoph Buhrer has confirmed: ‘All have developed well, they have grown wonderfully in a short time.
‘The children were born through Caesarian section but all four are now as strong and as heavy as it they had been born naturally.’