NRL News

Preemie born at 25 weeks and barely one pound thriving 15 months later

by | Jun 8, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

KeiraDrew2Fifteen months ago, Keira-Drew Burns was born at just 25 weeks and weighing 1.1 lbs (499g)–less “than a bag of sugar,” according to reporter Madlen Davies of the Daily Mail. She was so tiny she could fit in two palms.

However thanks to excellent care, particularly an infusion of glucocorticoids, the doctors’ worse fears– that her lungs would be too small for her to breathe–proved not to be true. Indeed she is “thriving,” according to her parents, Nichola and Andrew Burns.

But Keira-Drew’s fate was much in doubt when Nichola’s water broke at 25 weeks. Nichola told the Daily Mail that “We’d been trying for a baby for a number of years and were devastated when we had a miscarriage. Keira-Drew was such a miracle for us

They had planned on a home birth because her pregnancy had gone so well but “then our world was turned upside down,” she told Davies. “They told us there was a high risk of infection if the baby was born this early and that her lungs weren’t developed enough to breathe on her own – it was so scary.”

Nichola attributes Keira-Drew’s “miraculous survival” to an infusion of glucocorticoids, a steroid which mimics cortisol, the natural hormone that Mrs. Burns received immediately after her water broke. This helped Keira Drew’s lungs to mature, minimizing the risk of future breathing difficulties and bleeding, Davies explained.

There was one additional factor which made the possible loss of the baby so very poignant:

Her husband’s terminally ill father was also excited by the news of Keira-Drew’s birth, and so it felt unbearable that they might lose her.

She said: ‘When Andrew’s dad, Donald, became severely ill with leukemia we wanted nothing more than to give him a granddaughter after being unable to conceive for several years.

‘In his last hours of consciousness we were able to show him our 20 weeks scan which he held tightly in his hands. The picture stayed with him until he passed away.

After Keira-Drew was born, there were initial problems, including worries about a possible heart murmur, which required a number of scans. But the little girl was released after two and a half months in the hospital.

“We couldn’t be more relieved that she’s here, it’s really changed our outlook on life,” Mrs. Burns told Davies. “[T]hose steroid injections literally saved her life and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

Categories: Premature babies