For Jenny Rodriguez and her family, this Thanksgiving is like no other. Her daughter Zavannah Rodriguez came home from the hospital a few days later, ready to see her two older brothers.
“She’s definitely a miracle baby,” Rodriguez said. “I appreciate it very much.”
Zavannah’s incredible journey began in late July when she was born just 23 weeks into her mother’s pregnancy.
“I was scared,” Rodriguez said. “I was worried. But I also have hope.”
“Hope” is definitely Zavannah’s middle name. Premature babies weighed only 1 pound 2 ounces at birth.
“She was smaller than a ruler,” Rodriguez said. “11 inches. Really, you can hold it with one hand.”
A team at AtlantiCare’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Galloway Township, New Jersey, has been caring for Zavannah for nearly four months. This baby girl is the second surviving premature baby in AtlantiCare history and the youngest in the NICU this millennium.
CHOP Neonatologist Dr. Ben Asiegbu told NBC10: “Most of the time they end up with a lot of complications. But look [Zavannah] today. she looks absolutely fine. ”
Zavannah currently weighs over 6 pounds.
“She fought,” Rodriguez said. “She fought to be with us.”
Rodriguez had experience in the NICU, which helped make her feel more at ease. Her second child was born when she was in the NICU at just 27 weeks.
“Especially knowing the care that the NICU provides,” Rodriguez said. “Nurses and doctors will do everything for this baby.”
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/health/nj-hospitals-2nd-youngest-surviving-premature-baby-headed-home/3434116/ NJ Hospital’s second youngest premature baby goes home for Thanksgiving – NBC10 Philadelphia