When baby Kallie Bender was born less than 1 pound preterm in Phoenix, Arizona, physicians worried that she had a slim chance of surviving. A premature infant girl who was born smaller than a Barbie doll and weighing less than a pound has miraculously survived.
When Kallie Bender was delivered early at 25 weeks, she weighed about 13oz, or about a can of soup, and was no bigger than a hand. She is slightly over 10 inches long, shorter than a Barbie doll, and so tiny that her father’s wedding band could easily slide on her arm like an enormous bracelet. However, physicians predicted that Kallie, one of the tiniest babies ever born in the US state of Arizona, would not survive. However, her parents, mom Ebonie and dad Dameon, overcame the odds.
Kallie was eventually released from St. Joseph of Dignity Health in Phoenix on Monday at the age of nearly five months. After 21 weeks in the neonatal critical care unit, she has reached a healthy weight of 7 lbs and is thriving (NICU). Following her arrival in May, Kallie endured a number of operations, including a difficult heart surgery to correct a common condition known as a ductus arteriosus.
She added: “It was bittersweet to leave. But she’s an amazing little fighter and I can’t wait to see the personality she brings to our family. Mrs Bender, who is at high risk of pregnancy due to high blood pressure, was rushed to hospital when an ultrasound revealed Kallie was too small. There is a lack of fluid around the baby due to a condition called end-diastolic underflow.
The mother was informed by the doctors that Kallie needed to be born early in order to have the best chance of surviving. Ms. Bender, a native of Gilbert, Arizona, described herself as “frightened” and said, “The unknown is so terrifying.” When Kallie was born 15 weeks early, she was whisked right away to the NICU, where she spent the first few months of her life using a ventilator. She underwent intubation and was monitored while being maintained in an incubator.
The Benders stayed with Kallie, consoling and reading to her, hugging her when it was okay to do so, and playing music to encourage her development. However, Kallie steadily got better and, at the age of 150, was finally in good enough health to return home. The hospital reported that she did not have a brain bleed or blindness, which are two dangers for premature and small-for-gestational-age infants.
Mrs Bender said: “I could not be more grateful for the doctors here and for our three primary nurses.
“They love Kallie and took such good care of her every day that they were here.”