Youngest Premature baby saved through surgery led by a Pakistani Doctor

Paediatric Surgeon Zahid Mukhtar at the St Georges Hospital in Tooting saved premature baby Abi Peters when she was born at 23 weeks. Abi was born last year on October 26 underweight and with a severe gut condition and needed surgery to save her life.

At just six days old Zahid led a team of doctors who performed the surgery on her which saved her life, and she was the youngest child to survive the surgery, in a world first. The baby was not even a week old and was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis and was immediately put on life support after her birth.

Interview of Baby’s Mother & Doctor Zahid Mukhtar

The fact that such a young baby survived the surgery is a testament to Dr. Zahid’s passion for what he does and his talent as a doctor.

Meet Doctor Zahid Mukhtar

Zahid was born in a village in the Pakistani Himalayas. He says that he wanted to become a doctor from a young age when his 3-year-old sister died from diarrhea.  He feels like she died from a simple thing that was very curable had there been enough medical facilities in the area. He said that even though his parents were uneducated, he got the opportunities in the UK to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.


His biggest influence after moving to the UK was his grandmother.  According to him his grandmother when he moved to the UK while he was really young was his greatest influence and that she strongly felt that it was completely unjust for small children to die from simple diseases due to lack of funds or healthcare infrastructure.

Charity Work

Zahid would now be traveling to Nepal with a team to help babies whose parents cannot afford the healthcare. He will be leading the team in Nepal for 3 weeks where they will see around 2000 patients.

This is an annual thing and last year the first operation they performed saved the life of a 14-year-old boy who had been severely injured by debris during a thunderstorm. He had a bleeding chest wound and could not breathe properly when he came to the doctor with his 12-year-old sister.

It was observed that in these poorer countries there would be people who would walk for days so that their children could see a proper doctor: sometimes it being the first time they had seen a doctor at all.

Zahid is doing splendid work, and we wish him all the best for all the lives he and his charity are helping save around the world.