Rowan was given less than a 1 percent chance to live after he was born in April 2018, but 8 months later, the boy is still going strong.
His father, Daniel Breyts, was told by Indiana doctors to start planning for the baby’s funeral before he was able to hold his son, who was born 3 months early on April 11, 2018.
“It was a hard balance between I wanted him to survive, but I was a realistic person, they told me he was going to die. I just didn’t want him in any pain and drag it out at that point,” Rowan’s mother Jess said, according to WTVR.
Rowan was born 3 months early, weighing just 1 pound. He had less than a 1% chance of survival. But he defied all odd thanks to the doctors and nurses at Riley Hospital for Children.
The boy suffered from Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), which is an aggressive disease that attacked his intestines, Fox59 reported.
“Without a small intestine, he could never eat. He would never grow. He was too small to hope for a transplant. It was a death sentence,” Breyts said of the diagnosis, Fox News reported. “We kissed him and cried, telling him how much we loved him and wished there was something we could do.”
But the boy’s condition only got better.
“Jess and I spoke at length and decided that he wasn’t giving up … neither would we,” Breyts said. So they contacted Riley’s Children Hospital in Indianapolis which offered to take his case and even mentioned the possibility of a transplantation of his intestines.
Four days later, the boy was admitted to surgery. Doctors revealed their prognosis.
“She told me they saw a lot of pink viable intestine, which was the exact opposite of what we had been told,” Breyts told Fox.
Rowan spent seven months in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit before he was able to come home.
Baby boy born three months early 'without an intestine' given less than 1% chance to live beats the odds https://t.co/XaqHshnSYT
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) December 17, 2018
“Seeing him myself and knowing where he came from as far as how small he was and the issues that he had, in my heart he is a miracle,” Breyts told Fox59. “He’s an honest-to-God miracle.”
Rowan now is at 13 pounds, 9 ounces and is continuing to get bigger and healthier, his parents told media outlets.
The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles says: “Necrotizing enterocolitis is a devastating disease that affects mostly the intestine of premature infants. The wall of the intestine is invaded by bacteria, which cause local infection and inflammation that can ultimately destroy the wall of the bowel (intestine). Such bowel wall destruction can lead to perforation of the intestine and spillage of stool into the infant’s abdomen, which can result in an overwhelming infection and death.”
The disease affects one in 2,000 to 4,000 births in the United States.
“The disease occurs in nearly 10 percent of premature infants but is rare in full-term infants,” the hospital says, adding that the cause of NEC is not clear.
“Therefore, any decrease in oxygen delivery to the intestines, because the lungs cannot oxygenate the blood adequately, will damage the lining of the intestinal wall. This damage to the bowel wall will allow bacteria that normally live inside the intestine to invade the wall of the intestine and cause local infection and inflammation that can eventually lead to rupture or perforation of the intestine,” the hospital adds.