May 25, 1999 12:00 AM

A week after she was born weighing just 10.3 ounces, the smallest of the octuplets born this month to a Texas couple died Sunday from heart and lung failure. Chijindu Chidera, nicknamed Odera, was pronounced dead shortly before 3:30 a.m. at Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital after medication and chest compressions failed to save her. “We are very saddened by the passing of our beloved baby Odera,” mother Nkem Chukwu and father Iyke Louis Udobi said in a statement. “She is now safe with God in heaven, and we remain most grateful to Him for having blessed our lives with hers.”

  • Ms. Chukwu and her husband and mother visited all eight babies for the first time Saturday night, at about the same time Odera’s condition worsened, hospital officials said. The other seven babies were in critical condition. The youngest, Gorom, was recovering from abdominal surgery Saturday to repair an intestinal perforation. Two — Ebuka and Ikem — remained on ventilators, but four others — Chidi, Echerem, Chima and Jioke — were breathing on their own.

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