Little Oliver beats health risk of premature birth

 In Latest News

First published: Herald Sun, 4 January 2017

Three months after he was born, more than a dozen weeks premature and weighing in at a minuscule 660g, Oliver Mizzi is going home.

Though chances of his survival had been touch-and-go, he now weighs 2.91kg and is in perfect health.

His mother, Donna, went into early labour two weeks after routine 20-week scans showed a problem and she was confined to bed.

She was rushed from Frankston Hospital to the Monash Children’s Hospital, where doctors performed an emergency procedure to delay birth for as long as possible.

They also administered two doses of steroids to help Oliver’s lungs develop.

But the situation became critical, and he had to be delivered on 28 September.

“We were terrified,” Ms Mizzi said.

“When the doctors told me he was going to have to come it was really scary, because they said there was a 50 per cent chance he wasn’t going to make it. There was a high chance of brain damage, and all these other things.

“They gave us the option of just letting him arrive and putting us in a nice place with him so we could let him pass.

“But we knew he was strong, so we wanted to save him,” she said.

For his first month Oliver was on a ventilator, and he spent six weeks fighting an infection, but scans showed he suffered no brain damage.

He has been breathing on his own for the past week and is learning how to feed.

Monash Newborn director Associate Professor Charles Barfield said Oliver had come through a very difficult period.

“It is really terrific to see them going home, particularly when he is looking so well, because just about every baby we give steroids to ends up going home on oxygen. But he has done really well,” he said.

Oliver is expected to be transferred to Frankston Hospital and then go home to McCrae well before January 18 — the day he had been expected to arrive.

“He had all kinds of things wrong with him at the beginning, but he has managed to overcome all of them,” Ms Mizzi said.

“He doesn’t have any issues with his brain, his lungs are getting better, his hearing is perfect, and he is doing really well. He is amazing.”

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