Macey Micklethwaite is thriving at her home in the UK eight months after doctors predicted the tiny preemie would not survive.
Macey was born after just 25 weeks in the womb, weighing 1.2 pounds, according to the Daily Mail. It was a traumatic time for the whole family, and not just because of Macey’s premature birth. Her father and mother also had close brushes with death around the same time, according to the report.
Today, the whole family are home and doing well.
Macey’s father, Rhys Micklethwaite, was in a serious motorcycle crash a few weeks before she was born and was in and out of the hospital, the report states. The accident very easily could have been fatal, but he survived.
Karen Dawkins, Macey’s mom, said it was just a few weeks later when she was rushed to the hospital with “shockingly high” blood pressure. Tests revealed that she had severe pre-eclampsia, a condition that threatened both her and her unborn daughter’s lives.
“The consultant told me they were trying to keep her in as every extra day can mean the difference between life and death,” she explained. “But eventually they said it was now or never. They had to operate to keep Macey alive. The fear was there and I was sad and anxious, and you never expect to be in that position. But you just get on with it.”
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Macey was born on Feb. 20 after spending just 25 weeks in the womb. The mother and daughter both faced a number of medical problems before they finally were allowed to go home. Macey had infections and trouble feeding, and Karen had problems with her kidneys, according to the report.
“I look back at photos and think how un-baby-like she looks, but at the time I thought ‘wow, what a baby,’” Karen said. “She battled through so much. I feel so lucky to have her.”
After five months in the hospital, Macey finally was allowed to go home. Now, she is 8 months old and weighs 8.5 pounds. Though she is small, her mother said she is doing well.
“She is just a normal baby,” Karen said. “She is small but catching others up. Health and development wise she is on track.”
Macey 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 birth as early as 22 weeks. Yet, these babies could have been legally aborted for any reason in many states, as well as the UK. 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.
Macey’s story demonstrates that very premature babies deserve to be given a chance. Many of them are proving that they can overcome the odds and thrive.