The first 23-week preemie to survive in more than a decade
Courtesy Jennifer Fresneda
A few years ago, we wrote about the miraculous survival of a baby born at 26 weeks. Now we have Samuel Rodriguez, born in April 2017 at just 23 weeks and 3 days, the result of a spontaneous placental abruption (separation of the placenta from the uterus). All Samuel’s mom, Jennifer Fresneda of Tioga, Texas, remembers is waking up to labor pains and rushing to the hospital, where she learned that her baby’s sole chance of survival was an emergency C-section. Sam actually took a breath upon emerging, but doctors immediately intubated and rushed him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). When Jennifer and her husband were finally allowed to see their baby, Jennifer nearly collapsed from the shock. “He was the tiniest thing, hooked up to all these wires. I was frightened and powerless.”
Samuel spent four months in NICU, during which he had two surgeries, including surgery to correct a heart abnormality. On August 9, the day before his actual due date, Samuel was discharged from the hospital, a healthy baby boy, albeit with an apnea monitor and supplemental oxygen. “I didn’t even know babies so small could survive,” Jennifer marvels. Check out these 8 unsolved mysteries that still stump doctors.