Representational image of a mother holding the foot of her newborn baby at the hospital in Nantes, western France, July 7, 2018 LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

A premature baby whose heart stopped beating for a total of 22 minutes on the operating table celebrated her first birthday Wednesday. The baby, who was born at 27 weeks weighing 1.4lb, has been termed a “miracle” by doctors who treated her.

Lacey Sherriff, underwent emergency surgery five days after she was born at St George’s Hospital in South London after developing an often fatal bowel condition. During the surgery, she had two cardiac arrests. The first time the heart stopped beating for 12 minutes before doctors managed to stabilize her. The heart stopped again for another 10 minutes.

During the rescue attempts, she was pumped with adrenaline and blood products, which led to her receiving more than five times the amount of blood in her body.

Dr. Thomas Breen said the surgery was going well when her condition deteriorated. Calling the baby a “fighter,” he said he had never seen a case of a baby so young and so sick recovering with no signs of brain damage after being clinically “dead” for so long.

"We didn't think she'd survive surgery and thought we'd be registering Lacey's birth and death certificates at the same time. It was such a rollercoaster of emotions - first thinking we'd be going home as a family of four, to three, then back to four again,” her mother Louise said, BBC reported.

Post the surgery, her condition improved slowly each day. She however needed further surgery at 13 days old to sort out problems with the stoma (artificial opening) which was fitted during the surgery. She was finally discharged in February this year after spending 111 days in the hospital.

Wishing the baby on her first birthday, Dr. Zahid Mukhtar, a pediatric surgeon at the hospital, said the baby will have to continue to have follow-up appointments but “she should develop and live a normal life, which is excellent news.”

“To see her now, happy and vigorous, it doesn’t seem to have left any long-term damage. It’s just the most miraculous thing. I have never seen anything like it,” he added.

Dr. Donovan Duffy, consultant neonatologist, said, “To survive that and two prolonged resuscitations and be this well is amazing. We didn’t think she was going to survive. We got her blessed by the minister,” Evening Standard reported.

Her father Philip said, “She is a very chilled little baby. It’s unbelievable, the journey we have been through. It’s phenomenal.”

"My daughter wouldn't be celebrating her first birthday if it wasn't for the staff at St George's. The care from the moment we arrived to when we left was phenomenal. I can't fault it,” her mother said.

The baby again underwent a surgery to reverse the stoma in September which was successful.