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Preemie Profile: Drayton’s Story

This story was sent to me by one of our readers Heather.

I became pregnant with identical twin boys in January of 2008.

At 23 weeks and 2 days my water broke and though the doctors held off contractions just long enough to get the steroid shots in me. Drayton and his identical twin Phoenix, were delivered by C-section at 23 weeks 3 days (Friday, June 27th).

At birth, Drayton weighed 420 grams (15 ounces) and was 11 inches long. Phoenix weighed 550 grams (1 pound 3 ounces) and was 12 inches long. After three days of life Phoenix developed a large pulmonary hemorrhage and died. We all miss Phoenix very much and feel very fortunate to have had the time with him that we did have.

During his NICU stay, Drayton was intubated and on a ventilator for 7 weeks, on CPAP for 5 weeks, and on a nasal cannula (low Flow) until a week before he came home – surprisingly without having to be on oxygen.

He was in the NICU for a total of 5 months and 5 days.

During that time he had his PDA ligated when he was a month old, laser surgery for his retinopathy of prematurity, surgery for bilateral inguinal hernias, a LADD procedure for a lower intestinal malrotation (along with an appendectomy), and a broviac put in for a central line. A G-tube was surgically put in in order to help with his feedings (his lung reserve was lacking so he was struggling to take all of his feedings by mouth).

Currently his lungs are doing well but even though he requires some inhaled medications and diuretics. He has some GERD and is on two reflux medications, but that is it.

We are amazed at how well he has done after he was initially only given a 3% chance of survival (and that was with having multiple severe lifelong disabilities). So far, he has developed well and has managed to dodge any brain hemorrhages, Necrotizing Endocolitis, blindness, cerebral palsy and mental retardation.

Our Miracle baby is now seven months old and he weighs 11 pounds 13.5 ounces!

We pray that Drayton will continue to grow stronger and healthier every day.

About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of GrowingYourBaby.com and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!


  • wow! I am going through the same thing you did! I had identical twin boys (Kashton and Kaiden) Aug 24, 2009. My water broke at 25 weeks and I had to have an emergency c-section. kashton weighed 1 pound 7 oz 12.5 inches long and Kaiden weighed 1 pound 9 oz 13 inches long. After 5 days, kaiden passed away. He had a grade 3 brain bleed and Kashton has a grade 4. Kashton has already had surgery on his PDA and they are looking at his eyes tomorrow. He has a hernia that will soon have to be fixed and he has a broviac also. He is still on the venilater. They are trying to get him off as soon as they can. Im sorry for your loss but glad that everything worked out with Drayton!

  • My son was born at 23 weeks 1 day gestation, he’s currently in the NICU. He weighed 554 grams when he was born and now weighs 3 lbs. 8 oz. at the age of 2 months (gestational age 32 weeks). Our next hurdle is seeing the eye dr. to determine when to do the laser surgery. I’m scared silly but when reading your story it really comforted me. Drayton is a mircle and he has his brother as an agel looking over him. God Bless.

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