When Dietra Grant’s water broke just half way through her pregnancy, doctors wanted her to have an abortion.
But Grant refused to give up on her unborn daughter’s life. WGRZ in Buffalo, New York reports her daughter Madesen was born weighing 1 pound, 9 ounces in November 1998 after just 25 weeks in the womb. Her chances of surviving were about 50 percent, and the chance that she would have disabilities was even greater; but the little girl beat all the odds.
This month, Madesen graduated with honors from her high school in Georgia, according to the report. She said she plans to attend Spelman College in Atlanta this fall and major in biology and pre-med.
“I’ve done so much,” Madesen said. “I’ve danced, I’ve been in plays. I’ve done things that people thought I couldn’t be able to do.”
When she was born, Madesen weighed a little more than a package of butter, but she and her parents fought for her life, according to the report. Just three weeks after she was born, Madesen surprised doctors when she began breathing without a ventilator, the report states.
Her parents, Dietra and Clarence, described their daughter’s life as a miracle. They said they want to share her story to encourage other families facing difficult pregnancies.
“Thinking about what we went through to have Madesen, and the doctors wanting to abort the pregnancy …” Dietra told the news station. “I think people need to know that miracles do happen.”
Madesen is one example of the many success stories for premature babies. Kalel Fitz is another. The British baby was born after just 23 weeks in his mother’s womb, and doctors gave him a 50 percent chance of survival, according to The Daily Mail. His feet were so tiny that they measured just 1 inch long, and his weight was 1 pound, 8 ounces. But this spring, he celebrated his second birthday.
A study published in 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 23% of infants are surviving at an astonishing 22 weeks gestation. Yet, these babies could have been legally aborted for any reason in many states. The study also found that some hospitals are not giving babies treatment at this early age, despite modern medical advancements that have pushed back the viability line from 24 weeks to 22.
Madesen’s story shows that very premature babies deserve to be given a chance. Many of them are proving that they can overcome the odds and thrive.