Extremely Premature Baby Readies to Go Home

Amillia Sonja Taylor was born at 21 weeks and six days i

Amillia Sonja Taylor was born Oct. 24, 2006, at 21 weeks and six days. She's believed to be the most premature baby to survive. Baptist Hospital of Miami hide caption

itoggle caption Baptist Hospital of Miami
Amillia Sonja Taylor was born at 21 weeks and six days

Amillia Sonja Taylor was born Oct. 24, 2006, at 21 weeks and six days. She's believed to be the most premature baby to survive.

Baptist Hospital of Miami
Sonja Taylor holds baby Amillia Sonja Taylor on Feb. 19.

Sonja Taylor holds her daughter on Feb. 19. Amillia is expected to leave the hospital this week. Mabel Rodriguez/Baptist Hospital of Miami hide caption

itoggle caption Mabel Rodriguez/Baptist Hospital of Miami

A baby girl — believed to be the most premature baby ever to survive — should be going home from the hospital this week.

Amillia Sonja Taylor was born on Oct. 24, 2006, after just 21 weeks and 6 days of gestation. Full-term pregnancies last between 37 and 40 weeks.

At birth, baby Amillia was just a bit longer than a ballpoint pen at 9 1/2 inches and weighed slightly less than 10 ounces. She now slightly tops 4 pounds and 3 ounces.

Neonatologist Paul Fassbach is part of the team that has been treating Amillia Taylor at Baptist Hospital of Miami. Statistically, Fassbach says, less than 1 percent of babies her size survive.

But Fassbach says Amillia was stable, given her size, and she continued to be stable each day. Slowly, the medical staff was able to wean her off the mechanical ventilator and intravenous feeding.

Her current neurological exam has led doctors to believe "she'll have a good prognosis," although Fassbach says there still could be issues with long-term development of her brain.

The outcome of this case has been positive, but the doctor cautions that this case is not the norm.

He notes that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend intervention in the case of babies as small as Amillia, and he says he worries that parents of other extremely premature babies will hear Amillia's story and expect the same outcome.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.