By Dave Andrusko
When a baby is born weighing barely a pound—and 14 weeks premature—it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that doctors at Cook Children’s Hospital in Texas were not optimistic he would survive his first week. But Karter King was not your ordinary preemie.
WFAA announced the happy news that on May 13, the baby began breathing on his own after 260 days on a ventilator.
“This mama cried so many happy tears,” Alicia Bowlin posted. “Baby boy is crushing milestones no one thought possible!” The family looks forwarding to taking him home “soon.”
If you read the list of medical conditions Karter beat, you’ll quickly understand why Bowlin and Anthony King call their son their “little warrior.” Louise Bevan explains
“According to his mother, Karter had had necrotizing enterocolitis, chronic lung disease, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, pulmonary hypertension, retinopathy of prematurity, numerous blood transfusions, numerous bouts of pneumonia, and a tracheostomy, and remains feeding-tube dependent.”
“In the past 26 weeks he has proven every Dr. wrong that told us to turn off machines because he was just ‘too sick,’” Alicia Bowlin wrote on Instagram. “Karter Lamar King is a warrior and we can’t wait to see what his future holds!”
Bevin explained that in another Instagram post, Bowlin and King wrote that Alicia had been in the hospital on bedrest for 20 days. Then “on August 27, 2019 (Alicia’s birthday) doctors decided that Karter was in too much distress and it was best to perform an emergency c-section at 26 weeks.”
As an “extreme preemie” Karter has endured “multiple infections and numerous in-patient procedures,” Bevin wrote.
However, in February, things started to look up. Karter, who has three older siblings, graduated from the NICU into the hospital’s transitional care unit. On Feb. 25, Alicia posted an update on social media.
“As of today, our Karter bug has officially been outside in the world for as long as he was growing inside,” Alicia began. “I look back at the past 26 weeks and feel guilty for making my baby struggle.”
Alicia told Bevin they’d been given “a tentative discharge date for 8-month-old Karter, adding, ‘Things are happening so fast and we’re so excited!’”
Bevin ended her story on this very optimistic note:
At the time of writing, Alicia, Anthony, and their children are eagerly awaiting baby Karter’s imminent discharge from the hospital. Alicia claimed to WFAA that despite his numerous health-related setbacks, her son is “the happiest baby ever.”
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