23 Week-Old Premature Baby’s Miraculous Survival Shows the Humanity of Unborn Babies

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 8, 2020   |   6:30PM   |   London, England

Every day for four long months, a team of doctors and nurses spent their time and energy working to save little Millie Bushell’s life.

Born at just 23 weeks, six days of pregnancy and weighing a little more than 1 pound, the British baby girl finally grew well enough to go home this summer, the Metro reports.

“She’s a miracle,” said her mother, Tiffany Bushell. “Now she’s here, it’s such a weight off our shoulders. We’re so relieved that she is at home, and it makes us realize how far she has come.”

Millie was born in April in the midst of the coronavirus shutdowns. She was born 17 weeks early, and her parents were concerned that she would not survive, according to the report.

Tiffany, of Watford, Hertfordshire, England, said she was allowed to visit her daughter for only two hours a day, and her husband, Matthew, could not see Millie in person at all the first week. The first time he saw his daughter was over a video call, the report states.

Like most severely premature babies, Millie had to fight off several life-threatening health problems, including infections and a hole in her heart. According to the report, she stopped breathing two days after she was born and spent five weeks on a ventilator.

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All the while, the staff at St. Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, Surrey, worked hard to save the tiny baby girl’s life.

After four months and a surgery to repair her heart, Millie’s doctors finally deemed her well enough to go home, her parents said.

“We’re over the moon that she’s back. It’s like being on cloud nine,” her father said. “We’re just so thankful to be finally back at home all together, safe.”

Millie’s life and the fight to save her demonstrates how valuable her life, and every baby’s life, is – whether they are inside or outside the womb.

In England, abortions are legal for any reason up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Families of very premature babies have been urging the government to lower the abortion limit, at the very least, to 20 or 21 weeks to reflect the new point of viability.

Until this year, the earliest known premature baby to survive outside the womb was born at 21 weeks and four days of pregnancy. In 2017, the journal Pediatrics highlighted the girl’s survival story. However, Jemarius Jachin Harbor Jr. reportedly beat that record when he was born at 21 weeks, zero days gestation on Dec. 20 in Decatur, Georgia. He was deemed well enough to go home from the hospital in June.

The smallest recorded surviving baby weighed less than 9 ounces at birth. Born in California in December 2018, baby Saybie was deemed well enough to go home five months later.

These babies’ stories, along with the growing research, recently prompted the British Association of Perinatal Medicine to issue new guidelines encouraging medical treatment for babies born at 22 weeks of pregnancy. Previously, the guidelines did not recommend treatment until 24 weeks.