Lailani Casara entered the world far too early on Christmas Day 2013. She was delivered at 25 weeks of pregnancy after her mother was shot and killed in a botcehd robbery. She was born at 1 pound 10 ounces via Cesearian section, but doctors were able to save her
Little Lailani was born just as her mother Eva Mae Casara took her last breath and was kept alive on a ventilator. Doctors said she had a better chance of dying than staying alive, but she defied the odds and is going home.
After five months in the neonatal intensive care unit at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Chicago, she is now being cared for at home by her great grandmother and aunt.
Here is the rest of this touching story:
Lailana weighs a healthy 7 pounds now and is fed with formula through a tube in her stomach.
She is tethered to oxygen most of the day to strengthen her lungs, according to the Chicago Tribune, but she is able to breath on her own.
‘Everything now is geared toward that baby,’ her great-grandmother Fannie Casara told the Tribune, adding that in between naps and feeding they tell the little girl about her mother.
But the intended victim ended up driving away with the pregnant teen in the car, prompting the brothers to shoot at the vehicle and one of the bullets flew through the window and pierced the back of Eva’s head.
The lead obstetrician, Dr. Fouad Al-Qawasmi, said the baby would certainly have died if Eva had arrived just 10 minutes later.
But saving the infant was bittersweet, he told the newspaper.
‘She won’t see her baby,’ the father recalled thinking during the procedure. ‘We saved one, but we’re not going to save the other.’
As devastating as their loss was, Eva Mae’s sister Autumn Vargas said there was no time to grieve. All they want for her now is a normal life, starkly difference from the violence she was born into.
‘Normal. That’s what I hope for her,’ Vargas told the Tribune. ‘A normal, beautiful life.’