22-week-old preemie survives in Israeli hospital

Against all odds, despite weighing only 670g at birth, the baby is now completely healthy.
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In April 2006, this baby was born at 22 weeks, weighing a mere 670 grams. Basically, this is ¼ the weight of a baby born at full term. Preemies born at this time do not usually survive. Eli Haba, the father, stated, “The doctors told me he had a 20% chance to live. And if he survives, he has a 90% chance of some impairment.”

The doctors were very gentle with Eli. Since the chance of survival is so low, the protocol in the hospital doesn’t allow for bringing in a specialist for premature birth to treat the baby.  By accident, they thought he was born at 23 weeks and brought in the specialist. “If we had not made a mistake,” explains Dr. Dror Mendel, head of internal medicine at Danna, the Children’s Hospital of Ichilov, “he might not have survived. Even in medicine, there is a measure of luck.”  

The baby’s luck continued as the doctors continued with devoted care.  Dr. Mendel confirmed that this is the first case of a preemie surviving at 22 weeks in Israel.  Dr. Irit Berger, Assistant Director of the Preemie Ward in Ichilov Hospital added, “His overall state is very good – breathing, neurological aspects. Of course, he must continue to be monitored for his development.” 

“I am a father. I feel like I received a gift.” After 150 days in the hospital, Aharon goes home.  Before leaving, the staff took a photo to commemorate this huge occasion for a little man.

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