Born too soon but into a global movement, he was one of thousands of babies who have been given a fighting chance.
On Nov. 17, the March of Dimes sponsored World Prematurity Day. On that day and throughout the year, the organization and those in its World Prematurity Network, “a global coalition of consumer and parent groups,” fight for the “health of all babies,” according to the March of Dimes website.
Milo, the son of Katie Slater and Aaron Kay, was born May 19, 2015, 14 weeks before his due date in August, weighing only 2 pounds. The couple, from Barrow-in-Furness in the United Kingdom, told their baby’s story to The Mail, after being inspired by stories shared on World Prematurity Day. They hope their telling their baby’s story helps others who have had premature babies.
Slater had experienced complications beginning at 12 weeks, and “matters escalated at 26 weeks when she reported to Furness General Hospital feeling unwell,” the newspaper said.
“At first the nurses thought I had a weak bladder, but after an emergency scan, they couldn’t find any amniotic fluid in my womb,” Slater told the newspaper.
The doctor advised the couple to go to the Neonatal Unit at Burnley General Hospital because it could provide “the necessary 24-hour intensive and special care for infants born at any stage during the pregnancy,” the story said. Slater said she made the two-and-a-half hour “journey to Burnley at night, on my own.”
“After being given a bed there, I woke up in the middle of the following night and knew something was wrong,” she told the newspaper.
The newspaper said doctors detected no blood flow through the umbilical cord and performed an emergency Cesarean section. Milo, the story said, was “unresponsive for the first five minutes of his life and required breathing support from a ventilator for the first few hours.” Slater saw him again 16 hours later.
“I cried when I first saw him, to see a baby so small was so difficult,” she told The Mail.
Milo then faced another obstacle. Seven days later, doctors determined he had streptococcal meningitis. The paper said he needed ten weeks of medical attention in the hospital.
Slater told the paper the first two and a half weeks “in Burnley were hard – part of me wanted to come home, to be in my own bed and recover, but I didn’t want to be away from my baby.” Adding to her difficulty, she said, was that “most of the time I had no one to support me and I was so far away from home.”
But she persevered, and Milo made a full recovery, going home the following July, weighing 4 lb., 3 oz, according to The Mail.
Now Milo is a “normal, bouncy two year old,” she said in the article. Under observation from a consultant until this year, Milo is “doing better than anyone expected,” Slater said, including “walking earlier than they thought he would.”
Slater calls Milo her “miracle baby.” Thanks to the March of Dimes and its World Prematurity Network, more mothers of premature babies will get to have their own miracle babies.