Miraculous Micropreemie Defies Odds, Triumphantly Returns Home After Intense Fight for Life


In the quiet town of New Lenox, Illinois, the melodious cry of a tiny but determined baby girl resonates as a beacon of hope — a triumph of extraordinary spirit over arduous circumstances. Born prematurely in November, and weighing a mere pound — just a feather on the wind — the baby girl, Nyla Brooke Haywood, has defied incredible odds. She spent stringent months waging a valiant battle for life at a suburban Chicago hospital, now after six months of perilous journey, she triumphantly makes her way home with her overjoyed first-time parents.

Unveiling a beaming smile, NaKeya Haywood stood beside her husband, Cory Haywood, as Silver Cross Hospital rolled out a grand send-off party on a sunny Monday, attended by a teary-eyed, extended family, buoyant friends and an emotional hospital staff who were all instrumental in the baby’s fight for survival.

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Nyla, a minuscule wonder, arrived too soon into this world on November 17 at a frail 22-weeks gestation, following a high-risk diagnosis of preeclampsia — a high-blood pressure condition in expectant mothers — detected in NaKeya. The scale merely tipped at 1 pound and 1 ounce (482 grams) and an 11-inch (28 centimeters) body length, earning her the title “micropreemie”.

But on Monday, she displayed a victorious transformation – a healthy 10 pounds, 21 inches, and a spirit impossible to measure. This blossoming is the result of months-long tireless intensive care, provided by the neonatal unit at Silver Cross Hospital.

With a choked voice and moist eyes, NaKeya conveyed her gratitude, saying, “I don’t have the words, in all honestly. I’m just grateful that she’s here, she’s healthy, and she’s doing amazing.”

She confessed her fear over her baby’s perilous early delivery, but as Dr. Mario Sanchez, the attending neonatologist at Silver Cross Hospital, proudly declared, Nyla did not merely survive, she “came out fighting.”

Despite having lungs that were minuscule and underdeveloped, Nyla exhibited the heart of a lioness right from the get-go. “She cried at birth. It was a little whimper, but it was a cry. Her heart rate always remained over 100, which for us is where we wanted it to be. She came out fighting right off the bat,” Sanchez glowingly articulated.

A formidable team of personnel, numbering up to fifteen, rallied around the tiny warrior, providing round-the-clock care through her most vulnerable moments. Although Nyla’s lungs bear scarring and require supplemental oxygen, her sheer tenacity promises a bright future, albeit punctuated by regular checkups to prevent possible complications associated with micropreemies.

Nyla’s thrilling story is a thread in an optimistic tapestry woven by miraculous survival tales of extremely premature infants gaining a lease on life following leading-edge treatments, as reflected by a pivotal 2022 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In the face of resolute medical interventions, the data is telling: 30% of babies born at 22 weeks, 56% at 23 weeks, and 71% at 24 weeks, lived robustly enough to make the triumphant journey home. Nyla strengthens this statistic, her story encouraging faith in miracles no matter how tiny.