'Miracle baby' who weighed 1 pound at birth to be released from hospital
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTVU, KCRA) - He's being called a miracle baby-- Born weighing just 1 pound, 4.5 ounces, within minutes after he entered the world, he had paramedics working to resuscitate him.
His chances for survival were slim.
But now after four months in the hospital, Little Leni is set to go home this week.
The Sacramento infant was born after his mother went into emergency labor at home on May 9th, about four months before his due date.
His mom, Chastity, was only 22 weeks into her pregnancy.
“I didn't even know I was in labor at first," Chastity told KCRA. "He wasn't a regular baby. He was blue and purple. I didn't think he was going to live, and I'm looking at my son like, 'Oh my God, please live. Don't die on me.'"
When paramedics arrived, they used special miniature equipment designed for preemies to make sure the baby would receive oxygen.
And they wrapped him in a medical aluminum-covered sheet to keep him warm while they worked on his tiny body.
"You see this huge firefighter with this small infant trying to breathe for him,” Chastity said. “I'm like, ‘Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness, you survived.’"
The baby was rushed to Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento and has since been receiving care at the hospital's NICU.
On Monday, hospital officials and joined Leni’s family to celebrate the child, they're calling a fighter and a champ.
Leni now weighs in at 6 pounds, 3.5 ounces.
"He wasn't supposed to live through the first week he was born," Chastity said. "He had an IV in his head. They had to open it and put it in the back of his head. He had so many surgeries."
Monday's celebration also included a reunion with one of the paramedics who helped save the baby right after he was born.
The 20-year-old mom praised the medic team and got a chance to offer a face to face thanks to Sacramento Fire Department's David Robinson.
"You guys came right on time. You were so efficient with everything and so quick and so patient,” Chastity said. "You saved his life."
Sutter Health says Leni is the hospital's youngest newborn to be resuscitated.
Doctors say the chance of survival for a micro-preemie, like Leni, is about 5 percent.
"There are a lot of children this age who would not survive, particularly in the circumstances of an emergency home delivery," Sutter Health Director of Pediatrics Paul Walsh said.
The infant will require follow-up examinations, as doctors will keep an eye on potential complications with the child's vision, kidneys, and lungs.
But after watching him get through many touch and go moments during his short life, there is a lot of optimism.
"He's going out into the world with lots of support, and he's lucky to be going out to it at all," Walsh said.
Leni's mom said she's celebrating every moment, every small milestone and is excited to bring her baby home.
"He's definitely my miracle baby. I don't know what I would have done if he didn't survive," Chastity said.