Baby Austin arrived on 31 March 2017, 18 weeks early. He didn’t weigh more than 570 grams. His skin was so fine that his organs could be seen through it, and his ears and lungs had not developed.
In the United Kingdom, abortion is authorised up to the 24th week of pregnancy. Austin was born in the 22nd week of pregnancy. His mother, Helen, explained: “They asked if we wanted medical assistance for him, given how premature he was. I told the doctors that, if he was breathing, I wanted them to do everything they could and that’s precisely what they did”.
Austin was taken to the Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham where he was treated for 7 weeks. He got a lot bigger during this period and his breathing continued to improve. His parents wanted to take their son home on 28 July – the day he should have been born.
Helen believes that her baby is “a double miracle”. A few years ago, she was in fact diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, making her unable to have children. “I was told several years ago that I would probably have an early menopause. Children were not on the cards, so Austin has been a little miracle, right from the outset”.
Jonathan Cusack, neonatal paediatrician at Leicester hospital commented as follows: “We are delighted to see Austin doing so well at the moment, given how prematurely he was born – he has proved to be a fighter”.
Daily mail (12/06/2017)