By Dave Andrusko
I can’t help it, I am a sucker for stories of preemies who beat the odds. A year ago last week Phoenix Sims was born at 24 weeks—and at just 13 ounces—the smallest baby ever to survive at St. Joseph’s hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So small she could fit in the palm of her dad’s hand.
So when her folks, Shaina Freeman and Charles Sims, brought their daughter back to the hospital a year later, it was a joyous occasion for all who played a role in saving a toddler who now tipped the scale at nearly 18 pounds.
The delivery was made necessary when Ms. Freeman developed early onset preeclampsia which is potentially lethal to both mother and child. The only cure is to deliver the baby.
Dr. Matthew Lee, Ms. Freeman’s obstetrician, had to make the judgment call.
“(It’s) really about a miracle. What they could do doesn’t always turn out this way, but we are all fortunate that she has done well,” Dr. Lee told WISN-12. Phoenix was in the Intensive Care Unit for a total of three months until she weighed five pounds.
Her parents “beamed,” according to WISN, as their daughter “made a triumphant return to St. Joe’s a year and a day after her very iffy, very early arrival into this world. ‘She is having so much fun. Look how strong she is,’ her dad said.”
Phoenix has a lung condition–she receives oxygen from a tank–but she is expected to grow out of.
“It’s a blessing, she is doing really good,” Ms. Freeman told WISN. “We’re blessed that everyone was able to make it today. She’s doing good.”