Women and Infants Hospital Hosts Party in Celebration of Premature Babies Now Healthy

Sep 23, 2013

Women and Infant’s Hospital held a party for four year olds Sunday.

Patrick and Riley Yeadon were among about 100 premature babies who celebrated their fourth birthdays Sunday at Women and Infants Hospital.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Janessa Padella is a perfectly normal three year old with curly brown hair and big brown eyes. But when she was born in 2009 she weighed just 14 ounces.  She was the smallest of the premature baby class of 2009 invited to Women and Infant’s Hospital yesterday for a birthday party. Only children who weighed less than two pounds, 12 ounces were invited.

Janessa’s mother, Vannesa Rodriguez, remembers the terror she felt that she might lose her severely underdeveloped child.

"Very scary because I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be but we just kept the faith and she was a little fighter. She’s perfect now, said Rodriguez.

Totally normal? 

"Totally fine. She’s a little small for her age but I’ll take that over anything else," said Rodriguez.

Dr. Betty Vohr, director of the neonatal follow up program at Women and Infant’s, says survival rates have increased dramatically in the last 40 years.

"In 1974, the first year of the neonatal follow-up program, there was one survivor that weighed a thousand grams. Now we have approximately 100 babies per year," said Vohr.

Twenty seven percent of the roughly 100 preemies at yesterday’s party were twins. Twins and triplets are more likely to be born premature.

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