Given just 3% chance of survival at birth, Jacob Reed comes home six months later
By Dave Andrusko
What if we read the third sentence first? Jacob Reed’s “chances of survival were so slim, that before he was born doctors told his mother Pippa Stanley, 26, that she should abort him a dozen times,” reports the Daily Mail’s Graham Smith.
And what if we then doubled back two sentences to the lead: “A baby who was given just a 3 per cent chance of survival at birth has beaten the odds to come home after six months in hospital.” Conclusion? Bravo, Miss. Stanley.
The baby, now six months old, was born with a disease so rare that in the last 150 years British doctors have seen only 30 cases. It’s called internal and external juvenile xanthogranulomatosis (JXG).
“The doctors all said he had no hope, no hope at all–but now he’s home,” Miss Stanley said. However, as the reader quickly learns she was referring to both pre- and post-birth.
The background to the baby’s victory over impossible odds makes his survival (and his family’s joy) all the more impressive.
Last September Miss Stanley and her partner Tim Reed were overjoyed when they found out they were expecting twins, according to Smith. That was 12 months to the day after Ms. Stanley had suffered a miscarriage.
However, only12 weeks into the pregnancy, the couple learned that one of the twins had died.
“The pair feared that the tragedy of September 2010 would be repeated two-fold,” Smith wrote. “But Jacob refused to give up his chance of life, something he proved a month later when his mother’s waters broke” at 16 weeks. Doctors were concerned his lungs would not grow without the amniotic fluid.
Nine weeks later she was transferred to a hospital that specialized in the delivery of premature infants. Smith writes
“Doctors there said his chances of survival were so small they repeatedly advised Miss Stanley to terminate the pregnancy. They warned Jacob would be deformed and would struggle to live outside the womb.
“But on February 29, Jacob was born weighing just 2lb 10oz and breathing on his own. Miss Stanley said: ‘When we discovered Jacob was still clinging on in the womb, it was like my miscarried son had sent me a little part of himself back from heaven to say ‘there’s a bit of me living on with you.’”
“’But then with the amniotic fluid, it was just a waiting game, every minute, every second. I was a ticking timebomb waiting to go off. My life was on a knife edge.
“’Doctors said they would not help him breathe if he failed to take his first breath. It was such a difficult time. But then he did and I was elated, amazed and thrilled. It was like my little, wonderful boy had stuck two fingers up to the doctors who had not believed in him.’”
It was not until after Jacob was born that doctors discovered to their amazement that Jacob suffered from the extremely rare condition JXG, which is normally benign. “However, in Jacob’s case the lesions were also growing inside his body, attacking his blood, bones, lungs and liver and causing jaundice,” Smith reports.
You can read all about Jacob’s tenacious struggle after birth.
Suffice it to say “He has been on the brink of death several times and once even had to be resuscitated by his own mother.” Jacob is amazing.
Although he weighs just 17 pounds–roughly half of what he should weigh for his age–Jacob has come home.
“Having him home is like winning the lottery but 10 times better,” Miss Stanley said. ”He is gorgeous.”