Premature Baby Born at 22 Weeks Goes Home After Seven Months in NICU

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 25, 2022   |   12:59PM   |   Boston, Massachusetts

For nearly seven months, mom Shana Alexander watched dozens of parents take their babies home from the hospital while she sat wondering if her son would survive.

On Sunday, the Massachusetts mother’s prayers were answered when her premature son, Abel, finally grew well enough to go home, CBS News Boston reports.

“God can do miracles. Some people might think it’s insane, but it’s really true,” Alexander said.

Baby Abel was born on Oct. 28, 2021 at just 22 weeks of pregnancy, weighing 1 pound, 8 ounces, according to the report.

For months, Abel struggled between life and death while Alexander and her husband watched and prayed for a miracle. In the first three weeks after his birth, she said doctors recommended only “comfort care,” meaning they expected Abel to die, and she and her husband brought in their three older children to say goodbye.

But Abel kept fighting.

“You just think about getting through the next day, the next day, the next day,” his mother said. “You sit in a room for a long time watching other families. I’ve watched more than 50 babies leave during my stay. We’ve had more than 19 roommates. You pray to God, ‘I hope that’s going to be me one day.’”

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After 202 days in the Beth Israel and Children’s hospitals in Boston, doctors finally deemed the baby boy well enough to go home, according to the report.

Though the past few months have been difficult, Abel’s mother said they also have made her more thankful to God.

“It’s brought me so much closer to God,” she said. “My eyes are opened. I’m very thankful for so much more things.”

More premature babies like Abel are surviving and thriving thanks to modern medicine. In November, Guinness World Records recognized an Alabama boy who was born at 21 weeks as the youngest premature baby to survive. Curtis Means was born weighing 14.8 ounces at 21 weeks and one day in July 2020. In 2017, the journal Pediatrics highlighted the story of another girl who survived after being born at 21 weeks and four days of pregnancy.

Twenty Two Matters keeps a running list of hospitals confirmed to have saved babies born at 21 weeks to 22 weeks of pregnancy.