A Connecticut family is relieved to know their prematurely born baby will be nation’s smallest to survive.
The news came despite Westchester Medical Center doctors warning Danbury parents Jamie, 29, and John Florio that their baby Connor might not survive.
Blythedale Children’s Hospital confirmed the infant weighed just 11 ounces, making Connor the smallest newborn to survive outside the womb in the United States.
“This baby was born at 26 weeks gestational age, but he had the weight of a 20-week baby with only 310 grams or 11 ounces,” neonatologist Dennis Davidson, who leads the infant and toddler unit at the hospital, told WCBS 880.
Baby Connor, who weighed just 11 ounces at birth, went home this week in what doctors called a triumph of medicine and the human spirit. Now his parents, Jamie and John Florio, look forward to watching their feisty little boy reach new milestones. https://t.co/3xRaWNg5dU
— Florida Times-Union (@jaxdotcom) April 14, 2019
Connor was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for the five months to December 2018 when his weight reached a safer 6.6 pounds.
“He required ventilatory support for about 70 days,” Davidson said. The ventilation tube was about the size of a coffee straw, about 0.2 inches.
The parents waited through the long months beside Connor’s incubator, which simulates ideal conditions for a newborn and offers protection from cold temperatures, infection, noise, drafts, and excess handling.
Jamie never thought Connor was any different to other infants.
“To me he just looked like a normal baby. I guess I kind of saw past the size and the wires and everything,” she said. “He just looked like a normal baby, just very small.”
Although Connor was at the NICU for months, the family found ways to pass the time and have a laugh.
Jamie and John revealed one way they kept in good spirits was helping Connor try on different outfits.
“I think it started with Halloween and he was too small for any costumes in the NICU so we went to Build-A-Bear and we got some costumes for him there and they fit him perfectly,” Jamie said. “It was so much fun. We dressed him up as Superman and a doctor.”
Connor appeared as a mini-Abraham Lincoln for President’s Day, which provided a much needed distraction for the parents.
“It kind of takes your mind off being away from family and being in the hospital during the holidays,” Jamie said.
However, not all of the costumes actually fitted Connor’s small build.
“They were actually a little big,” John said.
On April 8, Connor finally checked out of Blythedale Children’s Hospital, weighing a healthy 11 pounds.
AMERICA’S SMALLEST BABY: Meet Connor, the miracle baby who weighed less than a pound when he was born premature, finally headed home thanks to an incredible team of doctors and nurses. @willganss has the story. pic.twitter.com/hdfaID1GNO
— ABC World News Now (@abcWNN) April 11, 2019
One of the world’s smallest surviving babies just came home to Connecticut after spending his first nine months in the…
Davidson described Connor’s recovery as a miracle.
“By the time he was going home this finicky little kid was smiling at you, he was playful, he would wiggle out of his nasal cannula oxygen,” he said.
The parents thanked Davidson and others from the hospital for helping them make it through such a difficult time.
“We’re leaving with a really healthy child, which I didn’t know was going to be possible, so I’m just really grateful and relieved,” Jamie said.
On April 28, thousands of parents and friends of prematurely born children walked city streets in the March of Dimes to “March for Babies,” which raises millions of dollars to end infant prematurity and death.
This Sunday, thousands will take to the streets for the #MarchforBabies to raise money to end infant prematurity and death.
— WCBS Newsradio 880 (@wcbs880) April 25, 2019
The hospital shared a video of Connor on social media ahead of the event.
“All the feels on this super story about courageous Connor and the #BlythedaleDifference,” Blythedale Children’s Hospital said in a Facebook post dated April 13.