Today was a big day for Baby Eliana and her family.
Three months to the day after this Ugandan miracle child was born a preemie not much bigger than a pet mouse, she went home.
Eliana was born at a staggering 25 weeks, 15 weeks early, on Oct. 21, 2014.
After being taken off of oxygen recently, she’s back on a small amount.
“And it was a hustle getting the equipment,” explained her dad, Wanyama Wangah. “A family friend, Abby, someone we met at the hospital, kindly loaned us his two cylinders, a connector and pulse monitor at no charge.”
This equipment would have cost about two million Ugandan Shillings, about $750.
“So part of yesterday was spent filling up the cylinders and getting a few medical items. At home, we’ve been busy cleaning the room Eliana is in and figuring how to keep her older but still young siblings at bay,” Wanyama said.
To help with the massive costs of hospital care, the Baby Eliana campaign via Indiegogo has raised $2,500.
As Wanyama said, “We’re thankful for any amount. It’s money that we otherwise wouldn’t have had.”
Thank you again to all who have been following with interest, praying, and contributing.
Even before Eliana’s birth, the doctors shook their heads and didn’t offer much hope.
My obstetrician wife isn’t surprised.
It was earlier today, when talking about fetal viability in a bioethics class for her Save the Mothers students, when she noted Eliana’s miracle story.
The point to keep in mind, says dear Dr. Jean, otherwise known as My Babe, is that in Canada if a baby is born and then dies at such a young age of gestation, it’s called a pre-term delivery, but here in Uganda, because there’s no hope for these babies up to 28 weeks, they’re called a miscarriage.
In Canada, preemies can survive as young as 24 weeks while in African countries the earliest survival rates are possibly 28 weeks.
That’s a full three weeks more developed than Eliana was at birth.
As Jean says, “In Africa, a baby born as early as Eliana usually takes ten breaths and dies.”
The youngest preemie she’s ever seen in her 19-year career, in Canada, is 23 weeks, five days.