Human Interest

Family celebrates as 22-week micro-preemie goes home from hospital after 6 months

One Illinois family is celebrating a very special homecoming this week, as six month old Nyla Haywood was discharged from the hospital after her early birth at just 22 weeks.

Considered a “micro-preemie” due to her small size and extremely early arrival, Nyla weighed just one pound, one ounce and was 11 inches at birth, after her mother, Nakeya Haywood, went into labor prematurely due to pre-eclampsia. 

“I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia [at] 22 weeks, and from there, things just didn’t necessarily get better. And we had to make that tough decision that we had to deliver her. That was pretty much the beginning of the story,” Haywood told Fox 32. “It was a very scary time.”

A medical team of at least 15 people at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox was dedicated to Nyla immediately following her birth.

“Nyla’s eyes were still fused. Her tiny lungs were under-developed, and her skin was thin and translucent,” explained NICU Medical Director Dr. Corryn Greenwood.

Despite this, Nyla showed signs of being a fighter from the get-go.

“She cried at birth. It was a little whimper, but it was a cry. Her heart remained over 100, which for us is where we wanted it to be,” said Dr. Mario Sanchez, a neonatologist at the hospital. “So she came off fighting right off the bat.”

After nearly six months in the hospital, Nyla now weighs 10 pounds and is 21 inches long. She does have some residual scarring on her lungs and is being sent home with oxygen, but is otherwise healthy enough to go home with her family.

Giving Nyla a warm sendoff was a group that has coined itself “Nyla Nation” – hospital staff, friends, and family who have rallied together to support Nyla throughout her hospital journey.

“We have so many family, friends who are so excited, and they prayed for us and took care of us, and everyone’s ready to celebrate this little one, for sure,” Haywood said.

“I’m just grateful that she’s here, she’s healthy and she’s doing amazing.”

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