Beating the Odds, Baby Weighing One Pound Finally Heads Home
May we pray for the future pro-life generation that will only build on these amazing advances in medical science to help families grow and thrive.
As graduations now seem a distant memory as most are cooling off near pools in the heat of summer — a tiny infant just recently graced the hallways of Broward Health Medical Center in Miami wearing his cap and gown.
After living his first five months of existence inside the Florida hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, baby Alanie, born at 23 weeks, is finally heading home.
Expectant mother Graysel Stuart, finding herself suffering from complications, sought care far away from her home on the island of St. Thomas. Despite being in a harrowing situation, stricken with fear for the life of her precious child, Stuart said, “At Broward Health, I felt loved.”
“They made sure I was taken care of mentally and physically, from ensuring I was well-fed to taking me outside for walks,” Stuart told the hospital team that offered constant medical attention and care to her infant and herself.
“Our patient is not just the baby; it’s the whole family," Alanie’s doctor, Dr. Johny Tryzmel told the Register. Specializing in neonatology and pediatrics, the physician finds family integration key to helping micro-preemies survive. "In our unit, we have the luxury of offering private rooms so mom and baby can bond. We’re focused on providing family-centered care and including the family in the baby’s care from the beginning. This is fundamental to obtain the best outcome.”
Born at 23 weeks, a gestational age that some states and hospitals don’t even deem viable, baby Alanie had a tough road to climb, but thrived under the care of the Broward medical team. The neonatal unit that has extensive experience working with micro-preemies.
Stuart was only in Fort Lauderdale for three days before Alanie was born, weighing just one pound, 1 ounce. Fitting into the palm of his mother’s hand, the infant required a ventilator and round-the-clock care.
After being on a ventilator for a month and receiving steroids for his lungs, stage two retinopathy of prematurity, a stage one brain bleed, and various infections, Dr. Tryzmel shared with Good Morning America that Alanie "beat the odds."
"You're talking about a baby that the chances for survival were in the 30%, to say in the best case scenario, around that 30%, 40% -- and [he] beat the odds," he said.
The pulse of a NICU unit is very unique, as so many mothers and fathers are praying and clinging to hope that the child they just brought into this world will be safe and survive, despite the daunting realities of being born prematurely. But the relationships that are formed between new mothers enduring the same trials form strong and lasting friendships and connections. Caitlin Collin, Broward Health’s NICU family support coordinator, saw this firsthand with Stuart, as she took to the weekly NICU scrapbooking hour, engaging with other parents who were dealing with similar challenges.
“I have seen some very meaningful connections take place in these sessions,” Collin said. “Moms will often share with other mothers about their baby’s birth and postpartum issues they are facing, and I have even seen some parents become friends that keep in touch after the NICU.”
In the last five months, Alanie has grown to 9 pounds, and both mother and child are happy to be heading home, one donned in a doll-size cap and gown. The recent graduate has a bright future ahead of him.
As we mark the fall of Roe one year ago, may we pray for the future pro-life generation that will only build on these amazing advances in medical science to help families grow and thrive.
The world needs to see more healthy babies heading home, especially ones who overcome insurmountable odds.
As Dr. Tryzmel said about his tiniest patient: “Our main goal is sending home a healthy baby, and we cherish the opportunity to celebrate our NICU graduates.”