Baby Born 4 Months Premature Finally Heads Home After 1 Year in NICU

BY Epoch Inspired Staff TIMEOctober 17, 2020 PRINT

Doctors at Johns Hopkins are being praised for the care they provided to infant Cannon, who was born at just 22 weeks’ gestation. Eleven months and 12 operations later, Cannon was finally healthy enough to leave the NICU.

“When he was born, they told me he would probably not make it out of the delivery room,” said Ashley, Cannon’s mom. “As a new mom, hearing that was very scary.”

Ashley’s water had broken while she was visiting ZooTampa at Lowry Park a shocking four months ahead of schedule. The first-time mom didn’t know what had happened at first, and called her doctor the following morning.

Doctors tried to stave off labor for as long as they could, but it became apparent baby Cannon was ready to say hello to the world.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Ashley Price)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Ashley Price)

Ashley was admitted to Bayfront Baby Place, on the third floor of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, on Sept. 16, 2019—a remarkable six days after her water broke.

Yet, despite everyone’s best efforts, Cannon was born just one hour later. After only two pushes, he entered the world at 17 ounces (approx. 482 g), about the same weight as a soccer ball.

Doctors immediately warned Ashley that Cannon might not make it.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Ashley Price)

“He was so sick, I didn’t even get to hold him until he was 11 days old,” Ashley recounted. “I remember that day. They took pictures of me holding him because no one was sure he would live much longer, and they wanted me to have a special memory.”

Cannon had multiple severe complications that threatened his life, including brain bleeds; floppy airways, or laryngomalacia; intestinal perforations; underdeveloped lungs; and infections requiring a bowel resection and multiple surgeries.

His every breath was a miracle, and easily could’ve been his last.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Ashley Price)
Epoch Times Photo
Born premature at 22 weeks, Cannon is leaving Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital after 11 months in the neonatal intensive care unit. (Courtesy of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital)

But Cannon defied all odds. He is among the smallest of infants to survive at Johns Hopkins All Children’s, which has the American Academy of Pediatrics’s highest rating in neonatal intensive care units, at Level IV.

Due to the dedicated care of the team at Johns Hopkins, Cannon was sent home on Aug. 11, 2020, giving Ashley the chance to create even more “special memories” with her son.

Jason Smithers M.D., who performed three airway repair procedures on Cannon, said: “I think this kid surprised a lot of people.”

Now, Cannon is 1 year old and hopefully has many more ahead of him.

“It’s a gift,” said Ashley. “We are very blessed.”

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Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.
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