North Carolina parents Cayce and Dennis Lee call their baby girl a “little warrior” because she overcame so many struggles when she was born prematurely.
The Metro reports Cayce gave birth to their daughter Eris at just 22 weeks of pregnancy in 2020. The baby girl was so small and fragile that doctors placed her in a sandwich bag to keep her vital organs warm.
When the Lees became pregnant with Eris, they worried that they might lose her as they did a previous baby who was stillborn, according to the report.
To prevent a premature birth, Cayce said her doctors gave her progesterone injections and stitched her cervix shut.
“At 19 weeks, the doctor’s found that I was already dilated by two centimeters,” she remembered. “I managed to last another three weeks, which helped us to get Eris over the threshold where medical staff could intervene to save her life.”
When Eris was born, she weighed just 1 pound, 1 ounce. Unable to keep herself warm, the doctors used an innovative technique, a plastic sandwich bag wrapped loosely around most of her body, to maximize her body heat, according to the report.
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Doctors worked hard to save Eris’s life, but they warned her parents that she may not survive.
“Eris had pneumonia four times, and we’d be getting calls at 6:30 a.m. to come to see her as the hospital was so concerned about her condition,” Cayce said. “There were so many times when we didn’t think she’d make it, but she pulled through every single time.”
Eris spent time on a ventilator and life support as she battled numerous health problems, including a staph infection, pneumonia and sepsis, the report states. Each time, her parents watched her fight for her life.
Cayce described their daughter as a “little warrior.” Now a little over 1 year old, Eris is home from the hospital. While she still has a ventilator to help her breathe, her mother said she is happy and stable.
“There were times when I was terrified that she wouldn’t make it this far, but she proves me wrong every day,” she said. “But now her lungs are maturing and she is making progress with every passing day. We wouldn’t have her any other way, she’s our little miracle.”
More premature babies are surviving and thriving thanks to modern medicine. In November, Guinness World Records recognized an Alabama boy who was born at 21 weeks gestation as the youngest premature baby to survive. Curtis Means was born weighing 14.8 ounces at 21 weeks and one day in July 2020.