When Austin Douglas was born 18 weeks early, at just 22 weeks gestation, doctors said there was “very little” chance of him surviving. He only weighed a little over a pound at 1lb 4oz. and was smaller than his mom’s palm.
Even against the odds, 30-year-old mom, Helen, didn't lose hope and certainly didn't give up on her baby. “We were asked if we wanted medical assistance for him, given how premature he was. I told doctors that if he came out breathing, I wanted them to do everything they could and they did,” she said as reported by news site SWNS onHuffington Post.
Thanks to the specialist care at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital in the U.K., Austin is set to leave the hospital on his original due date, July 28. Austin, who Helen said has been fighting since day one, is growing stronger and bigger day by day. But the road to it wasn’t easy.
Just over half way through her pregnancy, Helen was rushed to a hospital for severe stomach pain and heavy bleeding. She was already fully dilated and she was informed that there was no way to stop her from giving birth to her son. Helen, who suffers from Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), was told she might never have children again. “I was told years ago that I would probably have an early menopause and children were off the agenda, so Austin has been a little miracle from the very beginning.”
In Dr. Eileen Manalo's experience, who is an ob-gyn and reproductive endocrinologist at St. Luke's Medical Center, 95 percent of those with PCOS respond to fertility drugs. Early diagnosis and treatment is key but in some cases, as in Helen's, the condition hinders a woman from getting pregnant.
Recalling the day she delivered Austin, she shared, “He was translucent, and we could see his organs through his skin. His ears hadn’t fully developed and neither had his lungs. The medical staff whisked him away and put him in an incubator while they worked on him beside my bed.”
Austin received several weeks of care. During that same period, he contracted a lung infection that added to the fragility of his life. True to the fighter he was, he pulled through and has now grown a lot. “I have to hold him with two hands now and he is bigger than my husband’s hand,” said Helen. “We have to take each day at a time but I’ve never prayed so much in my life since he came into the world.”
Though doctors say the little one has a long way to go, just like your parents, we won’t stop rooting for you, Austin.