By Dave Andrusko
We love running stories about preemies who beat the odds. In the case of Willow and Zach, however, there is an especially intriguing twist.
Born two years apart, the children were both tiny. Willow, born at 26 weeks, weighed only 3Ibs. Zach, born seven months ago, was slightly smaller–2Ibs, 15 ounces–according to Madlen Davies, writing for the Daily Mail.
But their mom, Emma Blakey, credits plastic supermarket freezer bags [!] for their survival.
This is not as counterintuitive as it sounds. As Davies explains, preemies
are highly susceptible to losing body heat, so specialists often advocate using some plastic sandwich bags to help stave off the threat of hypothermia, which in a baby so young could result in death.
Or, as Blakey told Davies, “A nurse told me that the freezer bag kept [Willow] warm and made her feel like she was back in the womb.”
As you would expect the saga of Willow’s premature birth is haunting. Ms. Blakey had already experienced a miscarriage so when her water broke at 29 weeks, she was “distraught.” But following six hours of labor, Willow was delivered “and she was perfect.” Blakey was put on antibiotics to prevent infection.
Willow was placed in an intensive care unit but six and a half weeks later she was discharged–in January 2013.
Zach was born even more premature–at 27 weeks. There was considerable concern he may have suffered a bleed in his brain, but, at seven months, he is progressing along the same path as Willow, Davies reported in today’s newspaper.
“Willow dotes on Zach, they play so happily together,” Blakey said. “I’m so proud of my freezer bag babies.”