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‘Miracle’ newborn discharged after four months in ICU
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
A premature baby who weighed just
one pound at birth has defi ed the odds of
survival and can now embrace his homecoming.
It was an emotional moment for medical
staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/
Queens on Friday, March 26, as newborn
Jayden Waseem Shah — now weighing 6
pounds — smiled, cooed and showed all
the signs of a healthy 4-month-old baby,
ready to venture out into the daylight with
his parents, Alana and Zaheer Shah.
Th e Shahs, who live near
the hospital in Jamaica,
posed with Jayden
wearing a blue-tassel
graduation cap inside
the hospital’s neonatal
care unit (NICU)
medical staff who
nursed him to his
Alana is Guyanese
and her husband
Zaheer Shah is
from Trinidad. Th e
couple has a 12-yearold
both of whom were
born full-term at the hospital.
When Shah arrived at the hospital in
early December in labor at 22-plus weeks,
it was a scary experience for her, she
said. However, she found the staff to be
extremely supportive, explaining everything
they were doing for Jayden.
“Th ey gave me hope that my baby
would survive. Th ey would tell me, ‘Your
baby is strong. He is a fi ghter,’” Shah
said. “When I had postpartum depression,
they said, ‘You’re fi ghting for him.
You’ve given him breast milk for three
months straight. You’ve done more than
enough.’ My spirit was lift ed by their positive
words and encouragement.”
NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens
Director of OB-GYN Aleksandr Fuks,
MD, and its Chief of Newborn Services
Alice Garner, MD, determined the baby’s
gestational age to be pre-viable — the
accepted age of viability being 24 weeks,
and Jayden’s estimated weight was 500
grams — but nonetheless consulted with
one another and committed to doing
everything in their power to save the baby.
Th ey decided to give Alana an injection
of steroids, magnesium sulfate and
antibiotics, explaining everything beforehand
to both parents so that they were
completely informed and
understood what was happening.
Th e plan was to have
hospital pediatricians evaluate the baby at
the time of delivery, and move forward on
a day-to-day basis: the baby would either
survive, or he wouldn’t.
Jayden was born the very next morning,
on Dec. 4. He was then given surfactant
and placed on a ventilator. Initially diagnosed
with respiratory distress syndrome
he had no bleeding on the brain, a positive
sign, but would now need ongoing therapy
for eye changes related to his prematurity.
Th e Shahs were in the NICU every single
day from the time of his birth, until
Jayden showed signs of getting bigger and
being able to breathe on his own. Together
they will play a pivotal role in his continued
growth and development as he begins
his life at home.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens CEO
Neil Moore said in Jayden’s case, this is
the earliest a baby has ever been born at
the hospital and survived.
“Th e successful treatment of baby
Jayden by our obstetricians, nurses and
entire NICU team is nothing short of
a miracle,” Moore said. “NYC Health +
Hospitals/Queens is proud to be a community
hospital where young families can
count on having a healthy start in life.”
According to Fuks, Jayden’s birth was a
remarkable eff ort and a fantastic achievement
that should be publicized and celebrated.
“Th e NICU care at Queens has just been
phenomenal. Th e entire NICU team are
all winners. You cannot do any better than
this,” Fuks said.
Photo courtesy of NYC Health +
(From l. to r.) Sherley
executive director of
Tricia L. Roberts,
chief fi nancial offi cer;
Dr. Alice Garner, chief
of newborn services; Neil
J. Moore, chief executive
offi cer; Dr. Aleksandr Fuks,
director of OB-GYN. (Seated
from l. to r.) Zaheer Shah
(father), holding Jayden; and
Alana Shah (mother).
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