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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One of world’s smallest babies overcomes many obstacles to go home from hospital this week.

Kenna Moore was born weighing just 9.5oz at 25 weeks gestation, making her the world’s fourth-smallest surviving baby. This week she will go home with her parents, Nicki and Sam Moore, after spending 183 days at North Carolina’s Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital.

Kenna in intensive care

Dr. Rogers Howell, Kenna’s neonatologist, explained that Kenna was born in the caul. In fact, the baby, placenta and amniotic sac all came out together. As the placenta was detached, the baby was no longer receiving oxygen from her mother, the sac had to be opened and breathing tubes put in Kenna. At her birth, doctors did not know how long Kenna would live, as the survival rate for infants born at 25 weeks gestation is approximately 60%. Kenna has overcome hernias, abnormal blood vessel development in her retinas, and necrotizing enterocolitis to leave hospital this week after nearly 6 months of intensive care.  

Kenna’s mother, Nicki Moore, was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced high blood pressure when she was 20 weeks pregnant. An ultrasound two weeks later showed that Kenna had stopped growing. Her mother says “One of the doctors suggested that I consider abortion, but that was off the table”. She added that she hopes Kenna will help to inspire others who are going through similarly tough times. “By sharing the challenges we faced and this experience, we hope it will help people who are going through something similar and can't find any words of hope. You have to find something to hold onto and try to find the positive in everything.” 

There’s always the fear that some things could go wrong,” Nicki added. “But that’s with every baby, every baby that you bring home. I think that we’re really lucky because we have very strong support between the nurses and doctors.”
 And this Tuesday, after months of worry and struggles, Nicki and Sam got to bring Kenna home, what they described as “the happiest day of our life”.  

Kenna at sixth months, about to go home.

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