Human Interest

‘Warrior’ preemie born weighing just over a pound defies the odds

premature, Massachusetts, Planned Parenthood, abortion survivors, pro-life

A premature baby who spent the first 111 days of his life in the hospital has received the best Christmas gift this year — the chance to spend the holiday at home with his family.

Peadar O’Boyle was born by emergency c-section at just 24 weeks gestation. He weighed one pound six ounces at birth and faced a number of health challenges that required him to be placed on a ventilator as soon as he was born. Doctors told his parents he had a 40% chance of survival.

“Peadar was critically ill last Christmas and we had to take each hour as it came. We didn’t know if he would survive or what type of life he could expect,” his mother, Ruth Levins, told Independent.ie.

Ruth described the fear that accompanied Peader’s early days after his premature birth. “You are supposed to be happy and holding and cuddling your baby and instead you are looking through an incubator with tubes and monitors and you are afraid to nearly touch him because he was born so prematurely and his skin was so thin,” she said.

“When I look back on those first few days and weeks, I feel like I was looking at a film, a horror film of something bad that happened to somebody else. It properly hasn’t registered yet that it happened to us,” she added.

 

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Peadar faced many hurdles early on. In addition to being on the ventilator for five weeks, he also experienced bleeds on his brain, meningitis, and hydrocephalus.

“Every premature baby is so different because they are not robots,” Ruth said. “Looking back there were so many things said to us about Peadar, and he has proven a lot of doctors wrong so far.”

Altogether, Peadar spent 111 days in the hospital, including his first Christmas in 2021. With his release home earlier this year, the family, which includes dad Aidan and big brother Malachy, is all together for the holiday for the very first time.

“This Christmas is light years away from last year. We are doing all the normal things that we, and most families, take for granted,” Ruth said.

“Unlike last Christmas, my husband Aidan and I will get to have Christmas Day at home with Peadar and our older son Malachy, like most families. We won’t have to experience the guilt of having to leave Malachy to spend time with Peadar and the worry that when we leave Peadar he is alone in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) without his family.”

His parents say that Peadar does still have some health challenges, but they are grateful for how far he has come and that he is spending Christmas at home.

“Peadar is a warrior and superhero,” Ruth said.

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