NRL News

A “miracle twice over,” baby born at 1lb, 4oz may go home next month

by | Jun 16, 2017

Weighed the same as half a bag of sugar at birth

By Dave Andrusko

Austin Douglas (Photo:

Austin Douglas

Imagine you are the mom and your newborn son has joined you so much ahead of time he “was translucent and we could see his organs through his skin,” according to the mother of Austin Douglas. “His ears hadn’t fully developed and neither had his lungs.”

Yet in spite being born at just over 22 weeks and weighing only 1lb 4oz., Helen and Rhys Douglas hope to take Austin (who is now ten weeks old) home on his original date, July 28.

Helen Douglas told the Leicester Mercy, “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 he did.”

She added, “He’s been fighting since day one.”

Mrs. Douglas described Austin as a “miracle twice over.” She suffers from Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and she was told she might never have children.

She told the newspaper, “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.”

Problems set in the days leading up to Austin’s birth. There was heavy bleeding and she had terrible stomach pains.

“I knew something wasn’t right and on the morning of the day he was born, I felt an incredible urge to push,” she said. “I went straight to the hospital [Leicester General ] and they said I was fully dilated so there was nothing that could be done to stop him from coming.” (Leicester is in the East Midlands of England.)

Doctors warned the couple that Austin might not make it. Twice he battled through lung infections. According to The Daily Telegraph he has “just been moved to Leicester Royal Infirmary [LRI] where he remains and is doing well.”

“His heart beat is strong and breathing on his own gets better and longer every day,” Helen Douglas told Fiona Dryden.”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.”

“We are pleased with how well Austin is doing at present given how premature he was at birth – he has clearly shown he is a fighter,” said Jonathan Cusack, consultant neonatologist at Leicester’s Hospitals. “However he remains on a lot of support and still has a long way to go.”

Helen Douglas added, “I love him so much and I’m so grateful for all the care he’s had. The consultants at the LRI were fantastic and are still helping to care for him.”

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Categories: Premature babies