The fact that Maddalena Douse was born at just 23 weeks, and is the youngest premature baby ever to survive in the UK, is a miracle in and of itself. But the reason she’s alive makes the entire situation all the more miraculous. See, current guidelines in England don’t suggest providing active care for babies born 22 weeks and 6 days or before. But when they put Maddalena on the scale, and realized that she weighed 1 pound — the minimum weight for a baby to be considered “viable” — they fought to keep her alive. Here’s the thing, though — Maddalena wasn’t 1 pound. Apair of scissors had been accidentally left on the scale, making it seem like she weighed that much. And now, well, here she is.
Maddalena was discharged from Royal Sussex Hospital recently at the age of 6 months old, and she’s expected to grow into a healthy child. Oh, and she’s adorable. Sadly, though, she had a twin sister,Isabella, who died a few weeks after the girls were born. Maddalena’s parents, Kate and Renato, are obviously thrilled with their daughter — who is, in every sense of the term, a miracle baby.
I honestly have no idea what it would be like for a mother to give birth to a very premature baby — and know that the hospital has a “cut-off”, so to speak, in terms of how, or if, they’re going to fight for a child’s life. It’s truly unimaginable. And heartbreaking. And no parent should ever have to go through something like that. I can’t even begin to fathom what it was like for Kate and Renato as they waited to find out how much their sweet baby weighed — because it would directly correlate to the care she would receive. In a word: Awful.
But let’s try to focus on the good today — I think we could all use some good right now. This little angel is meant to be on this Earth. Plain and simple. There’s really no other way to explain the scissors being left on the scale, bumping up her weight. Who knows how they got there, or why they weren’t taken off — I like to think that some nurse was very kind and left them on there. It’s nice to imagine there’s someone like that in the world.
– The Stir