A one-pound baby born at sea on a cruise ship was given up for dead by the ship’s doctors. Shortly after informing the new mother that her child didn’t make it, the doctors returned to say that the baby is alive, but struggling to breath and the prognosis looked grave.
Utah native Emily Morgan was on a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship when she went into labor more than three months premature. With the help of the medical staff on board ship, her one-pound son was delivered, but that was the easy part. The hard part came with keeping baby Haiden alive.
According to the Canada Journal on September 26, after the baby was born the medical staff on the ship informed Morgan that she had a miscarriage and told her she needed to get some rest. Then the doctors returned and told Morgan that the baby is still breathing, but not expected to live. She was insistent on seeing the baby, who she felt kicking inside of her up until she gave birth.
The medical staff obliged and she was brought to the baby, who was on an oxygen mask and still wet from birth, but wrapped in towels. The medical staff on board the ship didn’t expect the baby to live because he was so premature and weighed only one-pound.
A baby born at 24 weeks is usually considered the limit of viability for premature newborns. The ship’s doctors made the claim that the child wasn’t going to make it, which is a call that most doctors would make under the same circumstances on dry land and in a hospital.
According to MSN News, the baby was born at 23 weeks on a cruise ship with his chances of survival looking grave. Haiden Morgan was born “more than 100 miles from land, with no obstetrician, no incubator and 14 hours to reach the nearest hospital,” which were circumstances that gave this baby practically no chance at life. But with his mother calling the shots, Haiden beat the odds.
At the new mother’s insistence, the baby was carefully wrapped in dry, clean towels. She helped the staff microwave saline packets to tuck around him and keep him warm and a sanitary napkin was wrapped around his tiny head for warmth. This was the best they could do for a make-shift incubator with what they had on board the ship to work with.
Because Haiden’s skin was so sensitive, they had to avoid touching him, but they did the best they could until they reached land. The closest port was in Puerto Rico and the captain put the ship on high speed, arriving in port two hours earlier than scheduled.
They arrived in the nick of time because the baby’s fingertips were turning black due to circulation problems. When in port, the baby was rushed to a hospital in Puerto Rico and stabilized over the next few days before being airlifted to a children’s hospital in Miami.
Doctors are not sure what caused Morgan to go into labor so early while on that cruise ship, but some theories include, the temperature changes at sea, dehydration or an elevation change. According to the Canada Journal today, “Dr. Bradley Yoder, medical director of the newborn intensive care unit at the University of Utah said that a baby like Haiden born so early and so far from a hospital has a less-than-10 percent chance of survival.”
Haiden will remain in the hospital until probably December, which was the month he was expected to be born. His parents are hoping he will be able to transfer to a Utah hospital from the Miami hospital sometime next month, which will be much closer to home. The Morgans are staying in an apartment, which is rented by the Miami hospital while Haiden is there.
As you might imagine, their bills are mounting and a GoFundMe page has been set up for donations to help this family. As of Saturday morning the donations are nearing the $30,000 mark. The Morgans are keeping everyone up to date on the baby’s progress with “Haiden’s Medical Journey” on the GoFundMe page.