Preemie Teaches Pro-Life Lesson

Frieda Mangold set a record when she was born: She’s Europe’s most premature baby.

(photo: Klinikum Fulda)

Here in the United States we didn’t hear much about one of the newest pro-life witnesses: 8-month-old Frieda Mangold.

Baby Frieda set a record. She’s Europe’s most premature baby, and according to reports, she ties the world record for smallest baby with a boy in Ottawa, Canada, who was born in 1987.

When she was born on Nov. 7, 2010, in Germany, Frieda was in the womb just 21 weeks and five days.

She weighed just over a pound (1.01 pounds, or 460 grams) and was 11 inches long. She spent the next few months in the neonatal unit of Klinikum Fulda Children’s Hospital in Fulda, Germany — a town St. Boniface knew well.

When she left the hospital, she weighed 7.71 pounds and stretched out to 20 inches. Certainly, it was no coincidence she went home with her parents John and
Yvonne on Easter weekend.

Dr. Reinald Repp, the chief of the clinic, called her a medical miracle and said everything indicated she would be healthy. (On a somber note, Frieda had a twin brother who lived several weeks, but died of complications in December.)

Pam Caylor talked about what this story means for us. She’s the former executive director and now “ambassador for life” of First Choice Pregnancy Services in Las Vegas that saved more than 2,800 babies last year alone.

“No. 1, the great thing for me is they did give her life-saving measures as soon as she was born,” Caylor said.

“In the United States, that pretty much doesn’t happen before 22 weeks, no matter if the parents want the babies. You pretty much can’t force them (the doctors) to do it. That kind of became the medical standard across the U.S.”

Caylor opined, “This is America. We’re supposed to have the best (medical) service in the world. Why can’t we do it here?”

She remembers getting a call from a woman who was 22 weeks pregnant who was going into labor and wanted Caylor’s First Choice to intervene to make sure the baby would be treated. They teamed with national ministries to get the mother past 22 weeks.

The survival of such a small baby teaches vital lessons about the sanctity and vitality of life at its smallest. “This story helps to break down the lies the abortion industry has sold to the general public,” Caylor said. “Truth is an absolute defense. That’s why we are always on the winning side: because we have truth on our side.”

This time, truth’s name is Frieda.

Register staff writer Joseph Pronechen writes from Trumbull, Connecticut.