Micro-preemie baby goes home after spending first 6 months of life in hospital

Nyla Brooke Hayward was delivered at 22 weeks and weighed just over 1 pound.

May 14, 2024, 4:17 PM

A baby who spent nearly the first six months of her life hospitalized after weighing just over 1 pound at birth spent her first night ever at home Monday.

Nyla Brooke Haywood left Silver Cross Hospital in Illinois on Monday to celebratory cheers from "Nyla Nation," the name given to the medical staff who have cared for Nyla since her birth last year.

Nyla was born just 22 weeks into her mother Nakeya Haywood's pregnancy, according ABC Chicago affiliate WLS-TV.

"It was a very scary time," Haywood said at a news conference Monday at Silver Cross Hospital.

PHOTO: Nyla Brooke Haywood was born at 22 weeks at Silver Cross Hospital in Illinois.
Nyla Brooke Haywood was born at 22 weeks at Silver Cross Hospital in Illinois.
WLS

Haywood had been diagnosed at the time with preeclampsia. Preeclampsia presents with high blood pressure and signs of liver or kidney damage after the 20th week of pregnancy, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In some cases, complications from high blood pressure can include labor induction to help protect the health of both the mom and the baby.

Given how early into pregnancy Nyla was born and her low birth weight, she was considered a micro-preemie at birth, putting her at higher risk of complications.

PHOTO: Nyla Brooke Haywood was born at 22 weeks at Silver Cross Hospital in Illinois.
Nyla Brooke Haywood was born at 22 weeks at Silver Cross Hospital in Illinois.
WLS

Dr. Corryn Greenwood, medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Silver Cross Hospital, said Nyla's lungs were "very underdeveloped" at birth and her skin was translucent.

Despite the odds, Nyla showed a determination to live right from the start, according to Dr. Mario Sanchez, a neonatologist at the hospital.

"She cried at birth. It was a little wimper, but it was a cry. Her heart remained over 100, which for us is where we wanted it to be," Sanchez said. "So she came off fighting right off the bat."

PHOTO: Nyla Brooke Haywood was born at 22 weeks at Silver Cross Hospital in Illinois.
Nyla Brooke Haywood was born at 22 weeks at Silver Cross Hospital in Illinois.
WLS

Over the next several months, Nyla continued to fight against the odds and improve.

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By the time she left the hospital on Monday, she weighed 10 pounds, according to WLS-TV.

PHOTO: Nyla Brooke Haywood was born at 22 weeks at Silver Cross Hospital in Illinois.
Nyla Brooke Haywood was born at 22 weeks at Silver Cross Hospital in Illinois.
WLS

"I don't have the words, in all honestly," Haywood said of her daughter's progress.

She added, "I'm just grateful that she's here, she's healthy and she's doing amazing."

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