Miracle: Born at 21 weeks, ‘most premature’ baby is thriving

Miracle: Born at 21 weeks, ‘most premature’ baby is thriving
Image: LivaAction via Courtney Stensrud

In some places, babies born before 22 weeks gestation are unaided by medical personnel who believe these children have no chance of survival. Doctors will often refuse to resuscitate a child born so prematurely. Therefore, when Courtney Stensrud went into preterm labor after a medical emergency at just 21 weeks and four days gestation, there was little hope her baby girl would survive… except she did.

Now three years old, Stensrud’s daughter may be the youngest person to survive after being born so soon, and because of it, she has been featured in the journal PediatricsAmillia Taylor was born and survived at just 21 weeks, six days. Frieda Mangold is Europe’s youngest premature survivor. She was born at 21 weeks, five days. Stensrud told CNN that before giving birth, while she was in the hospital dealing with the premature rupture of membranes and an infection, she had researched online for any children who had survived after being born at 21 weeks. She couldn’t find a single one.

“There were stories of 22-weekers, 23-weekers, but nothing about 21-weekers,” she said. “So I knew that there was little to no survival or viability at 21 weeks.”

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