Tiny Baby That Fit Inside Mom’s Hand is Home Laughing After 181 Days in Hospital

Jul 23, 2023 | Health

A first-time Pennsylvania mom who was told her baby “wouldn’t make it” because he was born so small, now says he is “thriving” at home following 181 days in hospital.

Zaylan was born when Krysten Risbon went into labor 16 weeks early.

He had a hole in his heart and needed constant oxygen, but he made it—and Krysten is now studying to become a NICU nurse, inspired by the care they received.

“When I first held him he could fit in my bra,” said the 22-year-old from Altoona. “Now only his foot fits in.”

“He’s a little fighter.”

The expecting mom and the young father Janerio Reed were over the moon when they found out they were expecting their first baby in August 2022, but she started bleeding at 23 weeks/six days and suddenly was in intense pain. Turns out, she was 4cm dilated.

“They said, ‘You’re going to have this baby today… recalled Krysten.

She was taken to a specialized neonatal intensive care unit at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital by helicopter.

“It was scary because nobody could come with me.. I just kept thinking everything was going to be ok.”

They gave her steroids to help the baby’s lungs, and doctors were able to halt the birth for another two days, until December 23rd when he was born weighing 1-lb 6oz.

“He was so tiny he fit in the palm of my hand.”

He had surgery after being born with ROP—an eye disease which can occur when babies are born prematurely—to improve his eyesight.

Finally, Zaylan was able to come home June 21, 2023.

“It was unreal having him home, and pretty insane,” she said. “I can’t believe how small he was.

“He’s pretty funny now. He gives me the side eye. He smiles and laughs all the time.”

“He’s a miracle.”

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