‘Miracle baby’ born at 22 weeks now home with family in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s “miracle baby” has finally gone home after four months in intensive care.

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Leilani weighed only a pound when she was born at 22 weeks at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, WTVR-TV reported.

The child’s mother, Shantel Allmon, said her water broke when she was five-and-a-half months into her pregnancy, WWBT-TV reported.

“I honestly thought I had a miscarriage in my bathroom, so I’m crying hysterically; I start to panic,” Allmon told the television station. “Scariest moment of my life, honestly. I didn’t even think it was a chance for her at 22 weeks.”

The infant’s chances of survival after her birth were slim, but hospital staffers in NICU worked to help Leliani pull through.

“They’re amazing babies to take care of and they’re very special,” Joe Khoury, a neonatologist at the hospital, told WTVR. “We have amazingly experienced nurses and respiratory therapists and all the equipment that we need to do that here. We also have all the surgical and sub-specialties that we need for babies like her so we have the support that we need. So having that comfort, knowing that everybody here is good at doing this.”

Allmon was discharged days after giving birth and had to go home without Leilani, the television station reported.

“If it wasn’t for her primary nurse Morgan, I don’t think I would have been able to make it,” Allmon told WTVR. “She was sending me pictures every other day, calling me every other day with updates if even the smallest thing changed. The holidays were the roughest for us.”

One day after her original due date, Leilani went home to meet her siblings, ages 4 and 3, in Henrico County, the television station reported.

“I was at the delivery the day she was born and seeing how small she was, was really surreal,” Khoury told WTVR. “Now she’s feeding everything orally and that’s really amazing for a 22-weeker.”

Because of Leilani premature birth, the family is still trying to buy baby items and pay medical bills. The family has set up a GoFundMe page.

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