Harper Rose Schultz, a beautiful baby girl born to two Michigan parents, was born June 29th, four months before her due date.
Weighing in at just 11 ounces, Harper is the smallest baby to ever be resuscitated at the Covenant HealthCare Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she was born, Michigan Live news reports. One-hundred and twenty-eight days after her birth, Harper's parents were finally able to take her home, at a healthy 6 pounds 10 ounces.
"We came in for some abdominal pain that was radiating down her sides and we just thought, worst case, we'd go home on bed rest," the father, Patrick Schultz, said in a YouTube video published on Covenant HealthCare's YouTube channel. "And that Monday was life-changing for sure."
The mother, Emilee Wendzik, also commented on the experience in the YouTube video, saying, "That day went by so fast. When they told me later in the afternoon, ‘we're taking you in for an emergency section,’ my mind was blown. We expected somewhat early just not that early."
Dr. Martin Nwankwo, a neonatologist who also works in pediatric care for the hospital, noted in the video, “To see her grow from where we started to going home now in reasonably good shape, it's mind-boggling for us. We've never done this before. And, to be honest with you, half the hospitals in the United States would not have attempted this."
The reason Dr. Nwankwo said most hospitals would not attempt such a resuscitation is because the equipment is not designed for babies that small, so there is a much larger risk of hurting or killing the micro-preemie (the term for babies born very early). Statements from other hospital staff reported they did Harper's breathing for her when she was firstborn. "She needed to grow into our equipment," Respiratory Therapist Sara Nitz stated in the video. "Our equipment is made for preemies, but she was really small."
In all, the father and mother are very thankful for the care they received, calling it "nothing short of extraordinary." The father also stated, "The fact that they can take something so small and be life-sustaining is nothing short of a miracle."
Photo courtesy: Irina Murza/Unsplash
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.