The Inspiring Journey of a 425-Gram Baby to Finding a Loving Home

The baby named Kendall, born in December 2020, weighed only 425 grams when her mother gave birth to her at 25 weeks of pregnancy.

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Kendall Jurnakins has now grown into a strong 15-month-old boy, so his final return home from the hospital was crowned with a huge celebration by the staff of St. Vincent Women’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

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The little one had to spend 460 days under continuous medical supervision so the baby’s family could enjoy the hospitality of the institution specializing in premature babies for more than a year. The date of his final discharge was March 16, so on this day almost all hospital workers paid their respects to the little warrior. “This moment was truly indescribable,” said Dr. Taha Ban Saad, head of the premature birth unit. “This is a huge gift for all of us!”

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When Kendall was born, he was only so big that a nurse carried him in the palm of his hand to the special incubator, where he was forced to spend the first year of his life. According to experts, after the birth, the baby’s chances of survival were quite doubtful. Ben Saad then predicted a 50-60% survival rate for the little one.

“I was afraid that the little one would not survive,” recalled the then 41-year-old mother, Sparkle Jurnakins, who added that due to her serious ʀᴇsᴘɪʀᴀᴛᴏʀʏ ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇ, Kendall was even more exposed to various ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀs.

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Kendall underwent several life-saving sᴜʀɢᴇʀɪᴇs in the first stage of his life. Continuous ventilation of the lungs was solved by tracheostomy. Then, due to the ᴇᴘɪᴅᴇᴍɪᴄ, the mother’s health was also at ʀɪsᴋ, because the mother was already in very bad condition due to the ᴠɪʀᴜs ɪɴꜰᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ and the ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs that could arise from it.

“The ᴠɪʀᴜs almost took me away. I was in a coma from August to October,” the mother recalled.

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Fortunately, the ordeal is now over, and the condition of the little boy and his mother has stabilized, so they can finally return home.

A boy born weighing 268 grams (9.45 oz) was sent home healthy after months in the neonatal care unit in Tokyo. He's the smallest child to ever be born and survive : r/pics

“My sons said that this year they won’t ask us to go to Disneyland on their birthday, because the biggest gift is that we can finally take the little one home,” said the mother.

“I couldn’t believe we did it. I prayed and cried so much, but now I’m happy that we finally went home!” he added.

Kendall’s incredible journey from a 425-gram preemie to a strong and thriving 15-month-old boy concluded with a joyous celebration at St. Vincent Women’s Hospital in Indianapolis. After spending a remarkable 460 days under constant medical care, Kendall’s final discharge on March 16 marked a monumental achievement for the dedicated staff and his loving family.

From the moment Kendall was born at just 25 weeks, his chances of survival were uncertain. Doctors had initially estimated a 50-60% survival rate, but Kendall’s fighting spirit, combined with the tireless efforts of the medical team, proved that miracles can happen. Even Kendall’s mother, Sparkle Jurnakins, recalls the fear and uncertainty she felt as her little one faced numerous challenges, including a precarious respiratory condition and the additional threat posed by a viral infection during the pandemic.

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Multiple life-saving surgeries and interventions were required in Kendall’s early days. Tracheostomy helped address his breathing difficulties, and the relentless dedication of the medical professionals ensured his continued progress. Kendall’s journey was not without its difficulties for his mother either, as she battled her own health complications related to the infection, enduring a coma from August to October.

Now, with the trying times behind them, Kendall and his mother have finally returned home. The long-awaited homecoming filled the hearts of their family with joy and gratitude. As his mother affectionately shared, this year, their family won’t be asking for Disneyland trips on birthdays because the ultimate gift has already been granted—their precious little one’s safe return.

Reflecting on their challenging yet triumphant journey, Kendall’s mother expressed her disbelief and overwhelming happiness. Prayers and tears were abundant throughout the journey, but the resilience and perseverance of their tiny warrior brought them to this moment of pure joy. The family is now looking forward to the precious moments that lie ahead, cherishing each milestone and celebrating the gift of their son’s life.

Kendall’s remarkable story serves as a testament to the power of love, medical expertise, and unwavering determination. It is a reminder that even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, miracles can happen, and tiny fighters like Kendall can defy expectations, inspiring hope in the hearts of countless others.

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