One Charlotte couple just got the best gift imaginable – a true miracle child. Elayah Faith Pegues was born nearly 14 weeks prematurely at Carolinas Medical Center. She was born after only about 24 weeks of development, weighing in at just 10 ounces and 10 inches long, she’s is now the smallest surviving baby to be born at CMC, as well as one of the smallest surviving babies in the world.
Megan Smith, and father, Eric Pegues celebrated Elayah’s original due date by holding a press conference at Levine Children’s Hospital.
After about 20 weeks of pregnancy, Megan’s ob/gyn detected that Elayah was not growing so he sent her to the hospital for further testing. She was on bed rest for nearly a month when doctors noticed Elayah suddenly stopped moving. They rushed her into the operating room to perform an emergency C-section – although there was little hope that the baby would survive.
Shortly after her birth, the medical team prepared Megan and Eric for the worst news any parent could hear…the inevitable death of their child. Despite the warnings, the parents held onto faith that their little girl would not die.
“We just weren’t taking it,” said Megan. “We just said, we have to have faith, and that’s when we made her middle name “Faith” because we weren’t going to give up on her.”
Dr. Andrew Herman, the chief medical officer at Levine Children’s Hospital, said that the child was able to grow in a healthy manner due to a “combination of talent, perseverance, and creativity”.
The baby’s care team at Levine created a special combination of formula and breast milk to keep Elayah healthy and growing since traditional methods simply wouldn’t work on such a small baby.
Dr. Herman noted that over the past several years there have been incredible advances in medical care to allow younger and younger babies to survive and properly mature outside the womb.