Tiny baby born at 23 weeks weighing less than a pound defies the odds to survive and thrive 

A baby who was born weighing less than a pound and was born at just 23 weeks after his mother was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and needed an emergency C-section has defied the odds and survived.

Jessica Doxey, 30, was taken to hospital when she was just 23 weeks pregnant and diagnosed with life-threatening blood condition pre-eclampsia.   

The mom had to have her baby by emergency C-section to save her life and she was told her tiny son was unlikely to survive, given just a 10 per cent chance of living when he was born. 

Kaio was born on July 7, 2017, three weeks before California’s general 26-week abortion limit as of May 14, 2019, weighing just 435g (15oz) and spent six weeks on a ventilator and two and a half months in an incubator, replicating the womb. 

On November 13, 2017, he came home, a few weeks before Christmas, weighing 8lb 15 oz and aged four and a half months.

Jessica Doxey’s baby Kaio (pictured) was born on July 7, 2017 weighing just 435g (15oz) and spent six weeks on a ventilator and two and a half months in an incubator, replicating the womb. Pictured: Kaio with dad Kaio, 31, in hospital in California on a ventilator in his first six weeks after birth 

Jessica, a food scientist from Bakersfield, California, said: ‘At no point in my mind was I willing to give up on our little boy.

‘I’d been in so much pain over the last 72 hours but what kept me going was holding on to the belief that he’d be okay.

‘The C-section took about an hour, and they had to use general anesthetic to perform the surgery.

‘When I woke up I was really confused, and the doctors explained that Kaio was alive but weighed just 435 grams.

‘They even invited my husband in so we could share what they thought would be our first and last moments with him in case he didn’t make it.

‘But, that thought hadn’t even crossed our mind, and we were determined to save him.’

L-R: Kaio, Stella, Jessica and Kaio at home after he was released from hospital on November 13 2017

L-R: Kaio, Stella, Jessica and Kaio at home after he was released from hospital on November 13 2017

What is pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication that causes high blood pressure, which can be deadly for both a woman and her unborn baby if untreated.

It usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure is typically normal.

The most effective treatment is an early delivery; usually via C-section.

However, this may not be best for the baby if it is early on in the pregnancy.

Pre-eclampsia affects about 25,000 women in England and Wales each year, and four per cent of pregnancies in the US.

Source: Mayo Clinic

She said she was asked by doctors if they should save her son because he was born so early.     

Mum-of-three Jessica, whose husband is also called Kaio and is 31, had gone into premature labour with her first child, Stella, now six, at 36 weeks.   

She was reassured it would not happen again but then at 23 weeks she was taken to hospital after she developed a severe headache.

Doctors diagnosed her with pre-eclampsia which causes high blood pressure and rejection of the pregnancy, making the mother more and more sick until the baby is born.   

Pre-eclampsia usually occurs at the end of the pregnancy but this was not the case for Jessica, whose condition quickly worsened.

She developed HELP syndrome a few days later, a pregnancy complication affecting the blood and liver. 

A week after giving birth to Kaio, Jessica was discharged from hospital and tasked with producing breast milk every day in a bid to save his life. 

The entire four and a half months Kaio was in hospital, Jessica expressed milk and stored it in a special freezer at home, before bringing it in to the hospital to feed him. 

Kaio, the little miracle, became stronger and stronger with time and his mom and dad visited him around the clock, praying their son would pull through.  

Kaio, now four (pictured) is thriving and has defied all the odds

The boy (pictured) was so little when he was born his parents were asked if they wanted to save him

Kaio now four (pictured left and right) has beaten all the odds after he was given a ten per cent survival chance at birth 

Now four, Kaio is thriving, and Jessica is telling her story to raise awareness and let other mothers who have premature babies know that it is not their fault and they should not blame themselves. 

Jessica said: ‘For weeks it felt like it was my fault because it was my body.

‘It felt like my failing and it’s hard to let that go when you’re watching your child suffer.

‘When you’re in that situation, every good thing that happens you’re afraid to enjoy it.

‘Being at home whist Kaio was in hospital it felt like my heart was in a different place.

‘Often it would be 4am and I’d suddenly panic and feel the need to be with him so I’d rush to the hospital.

Little Kaio (pictured) did not even weigh a pound when he was born

Jessica had to feed Kaio (pictured) with breast milk she expressed at home while he was in hospital, to make him stronger

Little Kaio did not even weigh a pound when he was born but is now four and defied all the odds after spending weeks in hospital and on a ventilator 

Jessica is also telling her story ahead of an upcoming abortion case which is being heard by the Supreme Court on December 1.

The case concerns the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban and the question of if abortions before a fetus is viable are constitutional according to the Roe v Wade ruling.  

A 2018 law passed in Mississippi bans all abortions after 15 weeks.

They are only allowed in medical emergencies and fetal abnormalities and it was struck down by lower courts after it was first passed in 2018. 

Pictured: Kaio and Kaio together in hospital where the little miracle spent four and a half months

Pictured: Kaio and Kaio together in hospital where the little miracle spent four and a half months 

The December 1 case could pave the way to weaken or overturn the Roe v Wade ruling.  

Roe v Wade ruling was a landmark case in America. 

The US Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

Pre-eclampsia meant that Kaio (pictured) was born by emergency c-section and not expected to survive

Pre-eclampsia meant that Kaio (pictured) was born by emergency c-section and not expected to survive 

 In August 2018, the state had a law to protect the right to have an abortion. 

As of May 14, 2019, the state prohibited abortions after the fetus was viable, generally some point between week 24 and 26.   

This period uses a standard defined by the US Supreme Court in 1992, with the Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling. 

The Roe v Wade ruling was a landmark case in America.

The US Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. 

Kaio (pictured), the little miracle, became stronger and stronger with time and his mom and dad visited him around the clock, praying their son would pull through. Pictured: Kaio with his family out of hospital

The ventilator swamps Kaio (pictured) in hospital during his four and a half month stay

Kaio, the little miracle, (left and right) became stronger and stronger with time and his mom and dad visited him around the clock, praying their son would pull through. Pictured: Kaio with his family out of hospital 

Jessica said the family were over the moon when they brought Kaio home.

She said: ‘It was the hardest time of our lives, but that feeling of bringing him home was indescribable.

‘Walking through our front door with him in our arms it seemed like everything was right in the world – we are truly grateful.’ 

Doctors work on Kaio (pictured) in hospital before his relieved family took him home

He lies in hospital on a ventilator (pictured) before he made a remarkable recovery

Kaio made a miraculous recovery and mom Jessica said the feeling of bringing him home was indescribable 

Jessica has shared her story to tell other women that they should not blame themselves if their child is born prematurely. Pictured (L-R): Stella, Kaio and Caroline Doxey

Jessica has shared her story to tell other women that they should not blame themselves if their child is born prematurely. Pictured (L-R): Stella, Kaio and Caroline Doxey

What is the abortion limit in California? 

 In August 2018, the state had a law to protect the right to have an abortion. 

As of May 14, 2019, the state prohibited abortions after the fetus was viable, generally some point between week 24 and 26.   

This period uses a standard defined by the US Supreme Court in 1992, with the Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling. 

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act bans late-term abortions after the midpoint of a woman’s pregnancy, and before the fetus typically is considered viable to live outside of the womb

Roe v Wade’s ruling by the US Supreme Court came in 1970.

The US Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

In Florida, Nevada and New York, there were laws prohibiting abortions after 24 weeks.

By mid-May 2019, the law was still in place.

As of May 14 2019 abortions could not take place after the fetus was viable.

This is generally some point between week 24 and 28 but abortions after 15 weeks are banned in Mississipi.

The time limit varies across the country.

Source: Britannica and Congress Government 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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