Born weighing only 600 grams at 23 weeks gestation, Jazen is the remaining baby from a set of triplets. His siblings, a boy and a girl passed away shortly after their early arrival.
Babies born at 23 weeks are often not resuscitated because they are very under developed and many hospitals are not equipped to care for such a fragile infant.
Jazen was born to parents, Hend and Haiel, at Western Galilee Government Hospital in Nahariya. The childless couple, who live in Kafr Yarka, had undergone fertility treatments, but the triplets were very small.
Even though Hend was placed on bed rest in the high-risk pregnancy unit for a month, the babies refused to remain in the womb any longer.
Jazen struggled to survive in the premature baby intensive care unit, where Dr. Vered Fleischer-Sheffer was a member of the team that took care of the baby.
“Twenty-three weeks is the recognized border between life and death for [premature babies] because the lungs, brain and digestive system are not ripe. It is rare indeed for a baby who is one of a multiple pregnancy to survive when born at that stage,” she said. The chances for survival for a baby born at 23 weeks is only 7 percent, she added.
The happy dad believes his son is a true miracle,
“I am shaking from excitement. He survived severe infections and diseases, and all this at a very low birthweight and age.”
“We go home with joy and tears combined,” the couple said, “because we are bringing the baby home but without his two siblings. We want to thank the doctors and nurses for the holy work they do.”
Hospital director Dr. Masad Barhoum said that keeping the baby alive and healthy was an “impressive achievement; I am proud of the professional medical staff that took care of him from the moment he was born.”
On Monday Jazen weighed just under 5lbs. He has been tested for disabilities and doesn’t appear to have any issues. He will, however, need to see a therapist to meet his long term goals. Additionally, babies born this premature run a 25% chance of being autistic.
We wish this family well. Even though my 24 weeker (675gms) was discharged with good bill of health he struggles socially and was diagnosed with autism two years ago.
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