Baby born at 24 weeks beats all odds after a different technique saved her life

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A technique only used once before at the Kaiser Permanente Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles was used for the second time ever on a baby girl from Kern County, saving her life and setting a precedent for future cases like hers.

Michelle and Stephen Webb became parents of twins in 2017. However, 18 weeks into Michelle’s pregnancy, doctors discovered she had incompetent cervix. The news meant her pregnancy could lead to premature death or the loss of an otherwise healthy pregnancy.

In their case, their babies were born at 24 weeks. Reagan was 1 pound 3 ounces and Logan was 1 pound 6 ounces. Six days after, Logan didn’t make it, but Reagan kept fighting.

“She is stronger than I am. I remember those moments with her in the NICU and I don’t know how she was able to keep going,” said Stephen. Reagan never stopped fighting and at four months was transported from Bakersfield to the Kaiser Hospital in Los Angeles.

Michelle and Stephen never gave up and did some research of their own. They found a protocol that helped a baby with a similar situation in Ohio and presented the doctor in Los Angeles with the idea.

Coincidentally, Pediatric Pulmonologist Dr. Sohn had researched the same protocol and agreed it was worth trying.

“We were on the same page and the parents were being very proactive but at that moment they were looking for anything different because nothing was working,” said Dr. Sohn.

It was a technique some doctors feared would kill Reagan but to Dr. Sohn, it was the best chance at life.

“This approach uses high pressure. The reason we do that is that the premature babies lung they have different parts of the lung is affected differently. This approach is saying we are going to give the lungs a long time to breathe in so that we can breathe in all parts of the lung instead of fast breathing and neglecting parts of the lung,” said Dr. Sohn.

Reagan became the second patient at the Kaiser Hospital in L.A. to ever be treated with the technique and the approach saved her life.

Reagan was able to go home on April 8th after spending the first 18 months of life in a hospital. As Webb’s adjust to their new lifestyle, they say they are grateful for the advancements in technology and hope that sharing their story inspires parents and helps save more lives of premature babies just like Reagan.

“I just want to give hope to families, it’s such a hard journey but its so worth it. Be advocates for your children because as parents, you are the best advocate and nobody knows your child like you do and you just have to fight for them,” said Michelle.

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