Nearly 15 million babies are born premature every year across the globe, and of those, over one million will die shortly after birth.
Often, this is due to an illness or condition that is life-threatening for mom or baby.
Many parents are encouraged to abort these children, but one case from the U.K. is an amazing example of what happens when a family chooses life.
Vicky Russell desperately wanted a baby, but she suffered from lupus, an auto-immune condition that can have serious consequences during pregnancy.
After waiting four years to go into remission, Russell became pregnant immediately.
She had a difficult time of things, suffering from extreme morning sickness and other complications, but was ecstatic to see her baby bump around 16 weeks.
During a prenatal ultrasound at 18 weeks, doctors noticed severe calcifications on the baby’s liver.
For the next several weeks, doctors bombarded the couple with talk of genetic conditions and the possible death of their baby and encouraged them to abort the child.
This comes as no surprise in the U.K., where the government-run healthcare system puts profit over patient care and has refused treatment to thousands due to cost, most notably babies Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans, both of whom died after being refused care.
But Vicky and Scott refused to consider anything but a chance at life for their little one.
They discovered they were having a girl and chose the name Layla.
Vicky continued to experience complications during her pregnancy and was transferred from St. Michael’s Hospital in Bristol to the Royal United Hospital in Bath, England, where she could receive more expert care.
At 24 weeks, Vicky’s water broke. Doctors managed to keep her stable for two more weeks, but Layla was developing sepsis and both mom and baby were in danger.
Layla was born on July 28th, 2018, weighing only one pound, nine ounces.
She was so small and fragile that her parents couldn’t even hold her when she was born. It took five days to stabilize Layla enough for them to do so.
Layla went through 11 blood transfusions and surgery. She became septic and was close to death, not once, but three times.
Vicky calls her baby “a fighter.” She had to stay in the hospital for 115 days as her parents visited and kept vigil over her tiny body.
But little Layla fought with all her might and was well enough to be sent home after Thanksgiving.
“There have been so many times where we’ve been told that our little girl wasn’t going to make it, so we feel incredibly lucky that she’s here with us,” Russell told Daily Record. “And to be able to bring her home in time for her first Christmas is just magical.”
The couple felt both elated and scared to take their little girl home after so many close calls in the hospital, but this fighter is growing stronger every day in a Christmas miracle of epic proportions.
“It’s like all our Christmases have come at once,” says Vicky. They plan to celebrate their first Christmas together quietly at their home, praying with grateful hearts to be out of the woods.
Every year, medical advancements are made that allow for increased hope for severely premature infants.
In 2017, a Duke University report stated that the survival rate for babies born under 23 weeks is higher than ever before, and nearly a quarter of babies born before 22 weeks are surviving, as reported by Life News.
The earliest a baby has been born in the U.S. is 21 weeks, unheard of even just a few years ago. That little girl is now a healthy 4-year-old.
Vicky and Scott never doubted their decision to choose life for Layla. Vicky says that, “I have never felt so much love in my life until I laid my eyes on my miracle daughter,” according to the Daily Record.
They offered up their prayers for God to bring her through and their prayers were answered.
We wish this family a blessed Christmas as they enjoy their precious miracle. She and her parents fought for life, and their story truly is a Christmas miracle.
(h/t Mommy Underground)