The first surviving 22-week premature baby ever born at one Maine hospital is finally going home. Baby Winner weighed just 1 pound and 2 ounces at birth.
Sandy Fournier was the primary NICU nurse looking after Winner. She recalled the challenges the baby girl faced at her tiny size.
“Of course she was tiny – probably the size of my hand,” she told WGME. “There’s challenges with the tiny babies. Their skin is so fragile it’s like tissue paper. […] I would gather all the teams so that all the team could go in at the same time, which was much less stressful for her than being awoken every couple of hours to be looked at and handled.”
Fournier also recalled how devoted Winner’s parents were, and how concerned they were for their daughter.
“Her parents were there every single day. They not only prayed for her, they prayed for all of us. They were so scared for many, many weeks and with any small setback, they were frightened all over again. […] That was our first 22-weeker who survived and went home with family. We all celebrated the advances and the milestones and her going home.”
But Fournier, who has worked in the NICU for 46 years, recalled something else – Winner wouldn’t have been given a chance until recently, and in fact, many babies hadn’t received that chance.
“When I first started we wouldn’t save babies if they were under 750 grams and didn’t cry. All the technology has changed. It’s advanced. It’s wonderful to be able to see the babies that survive now.”
As Live Action News has reported, just a handful of years ago another 22-week-old baby was offered no medical assistance or interventions when she was born, and was left to die in her mother’s arms. Amanda Finnefrock’s twins, born at 22 weeks and 5 days, were denied life-saving care and eventually passed away. In 2003, life-saving care was also denied to baby Adrianna, who was 23 weeks gestation.
And babies Winner’s age and even older can still be legally killed through abortion in many states, such as Oregon, California, New York, Vermont, Alaska, and even Maine, where Winner was born.
In fact, Maine legislators are currently trying to expand abortion in the state. The governor is defending the legislation by using an anecdote of a Maine citizen traveling to Colorado to abort her 32-week-old preborn baby with health issues. The direct and intentional killing of a preborn human is not medically necessary, and in such a case promoted by the governor, the child could be delivered alive instead of being given a lethal injection before birth. This would not only treat the child with proper human dignity, but would be less risky to the mother than a third trimester abortion.
The push of abortion activists in some states comes even as prenatal technology advances, and babies are able to be saved at younger and younger ages.
Fournier, for one, celebrates the milestone achieved at Maine Medical, adding that she believes she has the “[b]est job ever” in helping the tiniest human beings to survive and thrive.
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