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Tiny miracle: Baby who weighed less than 2 pounds after being born 18 weeks early is home for the holidays

“They pretty much told me they weren’t going to be able to resuscitate her or be able to do anything for her if she was born there, at that time, that early."

THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Doctors are calling a Houston baby a miracle, because of how well she is doing despite being born 18 weeks early.

Jimena “JC” Macias was due in September. But on April 29, her mother Juana Gallegos started feeling sick. She soon learned she was in labor even though she was only 22 weeks pregnant.

“They pretty much told me they weren’t going to be able to resuscitate her or be able to do anything for her if she was born there, at that time, that early,” said Juana.

She immediately transferred to Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center, which has a level III NICU, to give her daughter a fighting chance.

JC was born weighing 1 lb. 9 oz. She was only 11 inches long. A ventilator helped her breathe. An IV in her umbilical cord provided nutrition.

“On day one, day two, day 30…I didn’t think it would be possible to spend the holidays together,” said Juana. “God had other plans.”

After 112 days in the neonatal intensive care unit, the micro preemie was discharged from the hospital. She was able to spend Thanksgiving at home with her family.

JC is still in physical therapy, but doctors say she’s doing great. She is meeting the milestones of her adjusted age, which is two months old.

“While I wish this story would happen with every baby born this early, it’s not possible. Not to think her story represents every baby, but it makes it so much more miraculous that it happened,” said Dr. Rebecca Ballard, MD, neonatologist, Memorial Hermann/Pediatrix Medical Group of Texas.

Having a newborn has its hard moments for all parents, but the Gallegos family always remember their daughter is a miracle.

“We see it in a different point of view as grateful, because we wouldn’t experience that if she wasn’t here” said Eduardo Macias, JC’s father.

Credit: Gallegos family
JC Gallegos was born weighing 1 lb. 9 oz. She was only 11 inches long. A ventilator helped her breathe. An IV in her umbilical cord provided nutrition.

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