Typically, pregnancies last between 37 to 41 weeks before childbirth. However, when Jade Ewoldt gave birth to twin daughters last November at only 22 weeks of gestation, medical professionals held a pessimistic outlook regarding their chances of survival.
Dr. Jonathan Klein, a neonatologist and medical director at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital where the twins were delivered, stated that it is unusual for infants born after 22 weeks to survive. The nationwide survival rate for such premature births is only 10%, and the survival rate for twins is even lower.
Keeley James and Kamby Lee Ewoldt, two sisters, hold the distinction of being the youngest surviving premature infants ever delivered at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic, as reported by the Associated Press. When 28-year-old mother Jade Ewoldt discovered that her water had broken on November 23, she was in disbelief.
She expressed feelings of anger, depression, and fear, hoping that she wouldn’t give birth to her daughters at home. The situation was overwhelming, considering the need for extensive measures to ensure the survival of the two girls. Jade was transported to the hospital by ambulance, and the journey, lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes, seemed never-ending. Fortunately, she didn’t give birth in the ambulance as it was not equipped for such situations.
The delivery of the twins was not without complications. According to the father, the babies were as small as a dollar bill, with Keeley weighing 1 pound and newborn Kambry weighing just 13.4 ounces. Their skin is extremely delicate and can tear easily with even the slightest touch. Their eyelids have not fully formed, and their hearts are approximately the size of a thumb.
However, despite these challenges, the twins are currently alive and doing well. The mother expressed her amazement, stating that they have surpassed all the difficulties they faced. Nonetheless, the twins are still in the neonatal intensive care unit until their original due date, which is March 29. Keeley now weighs a little over 4 pounds, while Kambry weighs almost 4 pounds.
The story of the twins can be compared to that of Courtney Jackson, who was delivered in 2001 at 23 weeks of gestation. At birth, Jackson weighed a little over a pound and had eight teaspoons of blood in his body. The medical prognosis for Jackson was initially 50%. However, he has since made a remarkable recovery and is currently in good health. Jackson is now a high school senior and is set to graduate in May