Texas mom Mariaha Jones could hardly believe the doctor’s words when they said her son Slade was well enough to leave the hospital.
KXII News 12 reports the Denison, Texas mother gave birth to her son 11 weeks prematurely after she suffered a life-threatening pregnancy condition.
Slade struggled between life and death for weeks, and Jones almost gave up hope. Now, she believes her son’s life is a miracle, according to the local news.
Back in April, Jones said she was diagnosed with preeclampsia, a life-threatening pregnancy condition. Her first thought was for her unborn son.
“I was scared that he wasn’t going to make it,” she said. “I was scared that I wasn’t going to make it honestly.”
On April 28, she had an emergency cesarean section – 11 weeks before Slade’s due date, the report states.
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Slade was born weighing a little more than 2 pounds, but soon afterward, he lost weight, his mother said. In the days that followed, he faced other health setbacks that kept his parents worried, according to the report.
“He would just have an episode. His heart rate would [drop], his oxygen levels would go down, and it seemed like this journey was never going to end,” his mother remembered. “There was so many days we felt completely hopeless.”
His father, Cody Jones, added: “Considering that babies make it at 23 weeks pretty often, 27 weeks should have been a breeze, but we had our rough road and all of our problems and everything and we are just definitely glad to be where we are now.”
Last Friday, the Joneses received a call from their doctor saying Slade was well enough to go home. They said their son arrived home Monday after 82 days in the neonatal intensive care unit.
“After this long journey and it seemed like everything could possibly go wrong, walking out of those hospital doors was a miracle …” Mariaha Jones said.
More premature babies are surviving and thriving thanks to modern medicine.
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that more premature infants are surviving at 22 weeks of pregnancy. This and other research recently prompted the British Association of 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.
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. The smallest recorded surviving baby weighed less than 9 ounces at birth.