An Idaho family plans to spend their first Christmas at home together, more than a year after their son’s very premature birth.
Grayson Barnett was just 22 weeks along when he was born right before Christmas last year, according to The Sun. His survival was miraculous in more ways than one.
Some hospitals will not treat babies born so early because they consider the point of viability to be 24 weeks. Many states also prohibit abortions after 24 weeks.
However, growing research indicates the point of viability now is about 22 weeks of pregnancy. Earlier this fall, the journal Pediatrics highlighted a baby girl in the United States who survived after being born 21 weeks and four days after conception. The girl, who now is 3, is believed to be the youngest premature baby to survive.
Grayson is another example of how far modern technology has advanced in saving premature babies’ lives.
After months of battling life-threatening complications, little Grayson finally was allowed to go home with his parents. This Christmas will be their first at home together.
Leslie Barnett, of Idaho, said she had a healthy pregnancy up until November 2016. Pregnant with twins, the expecting mom went into premature labor at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, according to the report.
Grayson’s twin, Cari Lynn Belkle, was born first, but she died soon afterward on Nov. 20, 2016. Their mother said doctors tried to keep Grayson in the womb longer, but he arrived soon afterward, weighing about 1 pound.
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“We were told that Grayson had this Mount Everest of health challenges to climb,” she said.
Doctors told Leslie and her husband, Jeremy, that their tiny baby boy had a 5-percent chance of survival.
Here’s more from the report:
Days later, disaster struck. Grayson’s blood pressure dropped and his bowel began leaking the contents of his intestines into his abdomen, sending him into septic shock.
Now, after 30 blood transfusions, multiple IVs and a blood clot which caused a fluid build up in his head, Grayson is set to spend his first Christmas at home with mother Leslie, 35, and father Jeremy, 37.
“Last Christmas was a rough one,” said Jeremy. “I remember on December 6 I wrote a post on Facebook that said my son almost died today.”
The Barnetts said they never gave up hope for Grayson. And this Christmas, they are so thankful to be celebrating at home with their son.
“We lived off of hope for months. We just hoped,” Leslie said. “Grayson was a fighter from day one. …We’re enjoying being at home with him and watching him grow.”
This Christmas, many families will be celebrating with children who were born very prematurely – so early that they may not have survived three decades ago. Recent technological advancements are helping more premature babies survive and thrive.
A Duke University study published in January reported that babies born at just 23 weeks gestation are surviving outside the womb at a greater rate than ever before. Researchers examined 4,500 babies between 2000 and 2011 and found a “small but significant drop in fatalities for babies born between 23 and 37 weeks gestation,” as well as a decrease in premature babies manifesting neurophysiological problems, the Daily Mail reported.