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‘Micropreemie’ who weighed just over 1 pound at birth goes home
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‘Micropreemie’ who weighed just over 1 pound at birth goes home

  • PublishedMay 16, 2024

Nyla was delivered back in November at just 22 weeks after her mother was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, a dangerous high-blood pressure condition.

NEW LENOX, Ill —  A baby girl who weighed just over one pound when she was born prematurely in November has beaten the odds and gone home with her parents after spending her first six months at a suburban Chicago hospital.

Nyla Brooke Haywood was treated to a send-off party Monday at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Illinois, attended by family, friends and hospital staffers before the 6-month-old was taken home by her first-time parents, NaKeya and Cory Haywood of Joliet.

Nyla was delivered on Nov. 17 at just 22 weeks after her mother, NaKeya, was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, a dangerous high-blood pressure condition. She weighed 1 pound and 1 ounce (482 grams) and was 11 inches (28 centimeters) long, making her what’s known as a “micropreemie.”

But she left the hospital Monday weighing a healthy 10 pounds (4.536 grams) and at 21 inches (53 centimeters) long after months of treatment and nurturing in its neonatal intensive care unit.

“I don’t have the words, in all honestly. I’m just grateful that she’s here, she’s healthy, and she’s doing amazing,” NaKeya Haywood told WLS-TV on Monday.

She said she was scared about her child’s early delivery. But Nyla “came out fighting,” said Dr. Mario Sanchez, a neonatologist at Silver Cross Hospital, speaking with the station.

“She cried at birth. It was a little whimper, but it was a cry. Her heart rate always remained over 100, which for us is where we wanted it to be. She came out fighting right off the bat,” he said.

After her birth, Nyla’s lungs were tiny and underdeveloped, but a team of up to 15 people focused on the tiny newborn during her first minutes and days. She has some residual scarring on her lungs and was sent home with oxygen. Nyla will require regular checkups to keep watch for any future complications, which sometimes arise with micropreemies.

Growing numbers of extremely premature infants are getting lifesaving treatment and surviving. A pivotal study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2022 looked at nearly 11,000 such births in a neonatal research network that is part of the National Institutes of Health.

It found that 30% of babies born at 22 weeks, 56% born at 23 weeks and 71% born at 24 weeks lived at least until they were healthy enough to be sent home if doctors tried to save them.

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