A baby born at 23 weeks and two days went home after 14 weeks in hospital and had “miracle” written on her discharge papers.
Madelyn Mire was born in Texas last year weighing only 1lb 4oz. For her mother Jennilee, everything was fine until she had a medical appointment when she was 20 weeks pregnant.
“Everything was going really well until then! I almost skipped that appointment, so there are a whole lot of miracles surrounding that, but I found out my cervix was 100% effaced”, Jennilee explained. This meant that she could have gone into labour at any moment and doctors had to do everything they could to delay it.
Jennilee was told she had to get to 24 weeks otherwise her baby would not survive. Her previous daughter was born at 26 weeks and sadly passed away shortly afterwards. “And so this was our rainbow baby and here we are, going through this again” she said.
She suddenly started to improve
Baby Madelyn couldn’t wait until 24 weeks and instead was born at only 23 weeks and 2 days. She was so premature that she had a whole host of serious medical issues.
Like her mother, she had contracted E. coli which was the most immediate danger. “It crossed the blood-brain barrier, because when they’re that small, they don’t really have one, and it became meningitis. She also had a brain bleed and cysts on her brain. She had respiratory distress syndrome, which most of the preemies do, but she was on a ventilator for that,” her mother explained. Madelyn also had patent ductus arteriosus, a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart.
Her medical team were doing everything that they could to save her.
Jennilee said “I had run into the doctor on the way out of the hospital that evening, and they had repeated the spinal tap that day. The doctor stopped me and said, ‘we don’t know what happened, but it’s not there and there’s no sign of the necrotizing whatever it’s called, the brain is not dying, and we don’t see the meningitis.’”
Baby Madelyn suddenly started to improve. Her brain bleeds stopped and the opening in her blood vessels closed.
Her discharge papers said “miracle”
Her dad, Jacob, described the experience “We have come so far! At first, it’s just a lot of feelings of helplessness and not knowing what to expect. We went through this before, and when it was happening again, it was hard not to think the worst up front with Jennilee going into labour again”.
Despite his feeling helpless, Jacob did manage to donate blood to help save his daughter’s life.
“All I could do was just get into reaction mode. Just basically be there for support”.
Amazingly, Madelyn was discharged and sent home at 37 weeks and her discharge papers even said “miracle”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “Medical technology has advanced so much even in the last two decades that babies born before 24 weeks, the abortion limit in England and Wales, regularly survive”.