Tiny Edie Was Born So Prematurely Her Eyes Were Fused Shut, But She Beat the Odds to Survive

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 3, 2017   |   11:06AM   |   Washington, DC

Baby Edie Madoc-Jones experienced one miracle after another when she was born after just 23 weeks in the womb.

Doctors told her parents that she probably would not survive because she was born so prematurely, Wales Online reports. But last month, the tiny little girl from Wales was deemed well enough to go home from the hospital.

Nicola Madoc-Jones, Edie’s mother, said she panicked when, at 23 weeks of pregnancy, she began dilating. She said her doctors tried to put off her premature labor, and, for a few days, their efforts succeeded.

“While they were doing everything they could for us we were also being prepared for the worst: that if I went in to labour, our baby’s chances were very slim,” she told the news outlet. “And the worst part was knowing that, while she was still inside me, she was healthy and well. While they were telling me that she would probably die I could feel her moving.”

Just before Nicola reached the 24-week mark, her fears came true. She went into labor and gave birth to Edie.

The little girl was so small that her eyes were fused shut and her skin was transparent, according to the report. Doctors at the University Hospital of Wales continued to caution Nicola and her husband, David, that Edie may not survive.

“They told us that she was extremely weak and that her odds weren’t good,” her mother said. “But just as she went her leg moved. Among all the shock of the last few days, the horror of the delivery, and then the tragedy that we were now expecting to unfold that gave me the tiniest bit of hope.

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“I felt sadness that was almost too overwhelming to bear. We’d spent hours sitting helplessly at Edie’s bedside, swinging between good days where nothing much happened and bad days when the alarms she was attached to rung constantly in our ears,” her mother continued.

Despite several near-death experiences, including surgeries, a brain bleed, an infection and a hole in her heart, Edie began to get better.

Here’s more from the report:

At 73 days old Edie was moved from intensive care to the high dependency unit.

And 11 days after that she underwent an operation to correct the growth of abnormal blood vessels in her eyes.

Despite a temporary setback she was well enough to go home with her mum and dad a short time later.

She reached her official due date on May 28 – at 116 days old.

Her family said she is home and doing well.

Edie’s life is a miracle, but she is just one of a growing number of babies who have survived after just 23 weeks in the womb.

Like Edie, British toddler Kalel Fitz was born after just 23 weeks in his mother’s womb, and doctors gave him a small 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. He now is a toddler.

Twins Imogen and Annabelle Weir are another example. Born at 23 weeks in April 2016, they are believed to be the youngest and smallest twins to be born and survive in Scotland, according to the BBC.

These babies’ survival stories and a growing body of research are prompting doctors to reconsider the point of viability. Generally, 24 weeks has been accepted as the point when babies can survive outside the womb; however, studies have found more babies are surviving at 23 and even 22 weeks.

A study published in 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 23 percent of premature infants are surviving birth as early as 22 weeks.

Earlier this year, a study out of Duke University similarly found that more babies are surviving at the 23 week mark. The researchers 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 with neurophysiological problems, the Daily Mail reported.