Baby born at 1 pound heads home after spending 133 days in hospital

A premature baby born with just 1 pound defied the odds after doctors found he had little chance of survival.
Russell Appold Jr. was treated at Tulane Lakeside Hospital in Louisiana after his mother went into labor 22 weeks pregnant. Russell struggled in the neonatal intensive care unit for 133 days and finally came home on October 1.
"If it weren't for her and God, he probably wouldn't be here," mother Natasha Williams told Good Morning America. "They are so cute and have become our family. ... We cried quite a bit when we had to say goodbye."
Williams, now a mother of three, said she was three times pregnant when she tried to have Russell, but none of the babies had a heartbeat.
PHOTO: Russell Appold Jr. was treated at Tulane Lakeside Hospital, Louisiana after his mother went into labor 22 weeks pregnant. Russell struggled in intensive care for 133 days and finally came home on October 1st. (Tulane Health System / Russell Appold Sr.)
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"It was so scary when I found out we were pregnant with [Russell] that we didn't want everyone to get their hopes up," added Williams. "When we went to the doctor, they said the baby had a strong heartbeat."
By the 15th week of pregnancy, Williams' cervix began to open. She had emergency surgery and a procedure to keep her from going into labor. "
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But on May 20, Williams went into premature delivery. Doctors told her it was likely that Russell wouldn't make it.
"My fiance and I both cried and we started praying," said Williams. "My water broke on Wednesday and I gave birth to him around 10:55 on a Friday."
PHOTO: Russell Appold Jr. was treated at Tulane Lakeside Hospital in Louisiana. Russell struggled in intensive care for 133 days and finally came home on October 1st. The hospital gave him a surprise goodbye to mark the end of his ICU stay. (Tulane Health System)
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Williams and her fiancé Russell Appold Sr. welcomed Russell Appold Jr. on May 22nd. Its original due date was September 22nd.
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"Our experience caring for Russell has been both extremely powerful and humiliating," said Tulane neonatologist Lisa Barbiero.
Barbiero said that since 2017, medical professionals have been discussing resuscitation for up to 22 weeks with "appropriate parental advice and input".
PHOTO: Russell Appold Jr. was treated at Tulane Lakeside Hospital in Louisiana after his mother went into labor 22 weeks pregnant. Russell struggled in intensive care for 133 days and finally came home on October 1st. (Tulane Health System)
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"We are competing with fetal pulmonary embryology," she added. "There comes a point where the lungs are too immature to function on their own without the placenta helping gas exchange. While the odds against these babies at the limit of viability still exist, we have seen dramatic improvements in survival." % to nearly) 20% in some situations) of infants born in less than 23 weeks with the entire team from high risk OB care to neonatal care on board to support a family's request for resuscitation attempts. "
PHOTO: Russell Appold Jr. was treated at Tulane Lakeside Hospital in Louisiana. Russell struggled in intensive care for 133 days and finally came home on October 1st. Russell can be seen in this photo, treated by Tulane neonatologist Lisa Barbiero. (Tulane Health System)
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After Russell was born, medical staff administered breathing tubes. He had jaundice and blood in his brain, but over the months that he has been healed and until now, he has exceeded the odds.
Russell now weighs over 8 pounds. The hospital gave him a surprise goodbye to mark the end of his ICU stay.
Williams has since started a Facebook page called Baby Russell's Journey. She made it for families who have babies in intensive care or for women who want to talk about adjustments after giving birth.
The baby born at 1 pound goes home after 133 days in the hospital and originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com

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