Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. - Deuteronomy 30:19b

Little Miracle: Baby Born Weighing 14 Ounces to be Released from Hospital


Little Miracle: Baby Born Weighing 14 Ounces to be Released From Hospital

Laguna Hills, CA -- When he came into the world on March 14, Ethan Sechrest weighed less than a pound, and the odds weren't good that he'd live to grow much heavier.

But nearly three months later he's still here, and weighing a relatively hefty 3 pounds now. All the more impressive, his parents, Deann and Alan Sechrest, were scheduled to take him home today from Saddleback Memorial Hospital in this Orange County suburb 54 miles from Los Angeles.

When they do, his doctors say, Alan will become one of the youngest and smallest premature babies to not only survive but to go home completely healthy.

Its the first time I've ever taken a baby from the operating room to the warmer by cupping it in the palm of one hand, neonatologist David L. Vogel, said of Ethans birth. His whole foot was like the size of my fingertip.

When he was born three months premature, Ethan weighed just 14.3 ounces and was 10,5 inches long. An average-sized full-term baby is about 20 inches long and tips the scales at about 8 pounds.

I called him the pocket baby, because he could fit in the front pocket of my scrubs, said obstetrician Daniel R. Sternfeld, who helped deliver Ethan. His chances were so dismal.

Ethans mother was 24 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to Saddleback two weeks before his birth. Babies born that prematurely usually have a 50-50 chance of survival.

Doctors determined Ethan was so small because his mothers placenta wasn't functioning properly and he wasn't getting enough nourishment.

It was like he was wrapped up in Saran wrap, said Dr. James T. Kurtzman, a perinatologist.

To correct the situation, Kurtzman decided to perform an unusual procedure called amino instillation, which involves injecting fluid into the placenta.

As soon as he was through, said Ethans father, who was watching on a monitor, the baby started kicking and moving.

It was like he had a whole new lease on life, he said.

Ethan was born 10 days later, so small that when his father slipped his wedding ring over his sons hand a few days later it slid right up his arm. The hospitals research determined that he was the smallest baby ever born in Orange County.

But Ethan, who has 4-year-old and 2-year-old siblings, quickly surprised doctors with his resilience. Before they had a chance to remove his ventilator tube, he turned his head on his own one day and disconnected it. 

[Associated Press/June 2000]

Reprinted with permission by LifeNews.com

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