Tiny 'miracle' baby Carolina goes home
Stabroek News
May 5, 2007

Related Links: Articles on GPHC
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Few pre-term babies in Guyana manage to survive, particularly if they are born at younger than 28 weeks, but Carolina's situation is nothing short of a miracle.

She was born at 26 weeks and endured endless complications that repeatedly led to loss of hope among the medical team taking care of her.

But her mother kept the faith and prayed continuously for her survival. After more than three months in hospital, Carolina was discharged yesterday.

In the wee hours on January 28, baby Carolina's mother Yvette Conyers who hails from Timehri went to the Georgetown Public Hospital after she began experiencing pains. She was only 26 weeks into her pregnancy.

Conyers was admitted to the gynaecology ward, where women who have complications and are less than 28 weeks pregnant are taken. It is at this age that babies have the lowest rate of survival if they are born.

About seven hours after she was admitted, she delivered and on realizing that baby Carolina was showing signs of life, the nurses rushed her to the neonatal unit where she was admitted and placed in an incubator.

She weighed a mere 940 grammes (2.0723453 pounds). In the critical weeks that followed her birth, baby Carolina lost weight as she developed many complications.

She was not eating and had severe respiratory distress, anaemia, which resulted in her having numerous blood transfusions, and jaundice. She also developed a resistance to some of the drugs given to her.

Despite all of this and the fact that Yvette was told several times that her baby would die, baby Carolina surprised all and survived.

About ten days ago, she was taken out of the incubator and allowed to breathe on her own. There were many times when the nurses had to revive her after she stopped breathing.

At a press conference held at the Maternity Unit of the medical institution yesterday morning, the tiny baby was there for everyone to see.

Wrapped in a yellow blanket, Conyers held her miracle close to her bosom. Fast asleep, with her tiny fingers locked together, baby Carolina moved her little body several times.

Several nurses including June Cato, deputy supervisor of the maternity unit and head of paediatrics Dr Clive Bowman who looked after the baby were present.

Dr. Bowman said taking care of the baby was a task for the medical team in the unit and in spite of all the complications she developed they were able to cope. He attributed 90% of the success for baby Carolina's survival to divine intervention. "They were points when we thought that she would not live but the mother was always positive and said she would."

Bowman said baby Carolina's case was unique because of all the complications that had to be dealt with.

He said that feeding her was very challenging and she lost 32% of her birth weight. A tube had to be used to feed her so she could gain strength. "There were times when she would just stop breathing and the nurses had to go and revive her."

According to the doctor, baby Carolina should grow normally and medical personnel at the hospital will ensure they keep track of her for the next year or so. He said he could not give the assurance that everything will be okay with her health wise, but they would remain hopeful and not express any negativity.

Bowman stated that about 50% of premature babies at the Georgetown Hospital, who have the same complications as baby Carolina do not survive.

During the press conference, Conyers who has four other children, wiped tears from her eyes as she looked down at her bundle.

With tears in her eyes, she said, "I want to thank God. Dr Bowman sometimes use to say negative things but I said no, my child is going to live. I thank God that I have my child here to go home with me today. I want to thank the doctor and all the nurses."

The proud mother told this newspaper that she never had any complications with her other children. She said when she went to the hospital she never thought she would have given birth.

She added that baby Carolina would be her last baby. Carolina's youngest sibling is 13 years old. (Zoisa Fraser)