Record-Breaking Berea Preemie Born at 22 Weeks–Could Set Precedent for New Legislation

Lakyn’s Little Foot: Credit Hannah Hembree

An amazing miracle of a birth has happened here in Madison County. Little Lakyn from Berea was born June 11th—four months to the day before her October due date. She now is the youngest baby ever resuscitated from University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Born at 22 weeks and weighing in at just one pound, this little girl is a certified miracle. However, according to her parents who came to WBONTV studios, the fight is not over. They say that because of nationwide laws it is not mandated that Lakyn’s little life could be saved as she was born before 24 weeks, so they had to scramble to get her in a NICU unit for care at UK.

However, nearing a month later she is consistently improving, and her parents say that they are planning with officials in Frankfort to work towards a ‘Laykns Law’ in Kentucky that would demand that care be given to these small, premature miracles.

Lakyn’s parents say that there are no full pictures released because they don’t want anyone to panic as she is still hooked up to a lot of different machines, but they assure as the days pass that she is taking breast milk and gaining weight, and even responds to her parents’s touch. With each passing day her parents add on Facebook important updates, such as her daddy Matthew Miles singing to her and her already growing dark hair.

Hannah and Matt add that they are grateful for help from the Ronald McDonald charities so that they are able to stay close by to their little girl as she will be in the NICU through her original due date this fall.

Get the gofundme link here to help support these young parents and their record-breaking young baby!

Here is a statement from Lakyn’s mother, Hannah Hembree, posted to Facebook:

“So I know a lot of people are curious about our whole story. I’ve decided to write a little about it and share it. It’s long so if you aren’t interested keep scrolling but I know a lot of people want to know.

Lakyn’s Story

May 29th we had our second trimester ultrasound and everything was perfect. Little did we know what we would be in for the next week.

On the following Monday, I went to sleep that night like usual for about an hour and woke up with sever stomach pain, I called my mom and woke Matt up. We went to to the ER in Berea where they had no clue what was happening so they sent me to Richmond.

When we arrived at Richmond hospital they told me it was round ligament pain and I wasted a trip. After assuring the nurse it was NOT just round ligament pain because I was in tears and I could tell it was contractions (3 minutes apart) they decided to check me. They discovered I was dilated… to a TEN. They called the midwife on call and she checked me and confirmed all of this. She then said “we can do everything we can to save this baby…. or not” obviously, with no hesitation we said we wanted to try. They called UK to come get me in an ambulance and assured us many times my daughter would be delivered in the ambulance and would not make it. They told us several times to understand she will not make it.

Well, we made it to UK without delivering and they immediately put me on IV meds and pills to stop labor, which worked. They determined I have an incompetent cervix which is what caused me to go into premature labor. But, we were once again told our baby has zero percent chance of survival and would be here in hours. They titled my bed as far back as it would go because if I sat up she would literally just drop out. They did an ultrasound and found her legs were also already down all the way up to her hips.

Every single day they told us she will not make it. Once my medicine rounds were over, I started contracting again. My doctor on this day wouldn’t put me back on it because “there was no point… we were at the finish line, just waiting to cross” after arguing with them they finally put me back on it “against medical recommendation” They had the NICU team come speak with us to tell us they will not try to resuscitate our baby because I was only 22 weeks and they don’t try until 24 weeks. After arguing with doctors and nurses and again being asked to give up on her, they realized we would not and we weren’t letting them either. They gave me steroid shots to help Lakyn’s lungs be ready for her arrival. They don’t try on babies earlier than 24 weeks because they say they don’t have tubes small enough. (Keep this in mind)

I laid in the “t bird” position for 6 days before my water broke on Sunday at 6am. About 2 hours later the whole high risk team came in and gave us two options. Deliver now through c section where they can guarantee a heart rate at birth but not survival, or try to keep her in longer but risk infections, cord wrapping, no heartbeat, etc because she would’ve been breech obviously.

After a lot of tears, prayers and total trust in god we decided to do an emergency c section. It was the scariest choice to make because there’s no way to know what the right choice is and what will happen either way.

I was brought down to the OR where it took six times to get my spinal tap to work because I couldn’t bend over to get it like most people without her coming on her own. My c section was different than most due to my uterus size at only 22 weeks. We could hear the panic in the doctors voices while trying to pull her out because she was already so far down. They got her out at 1:26pm and Matt was able to see her for a second.

Our girl came out trying to breathe on her own and here’s the cool part…. she didn’t even need the smallest sized tube, she used the next size up! They came and told us they were in fact able to resuscitate our 22 week, 4 day old baby!!

She was extremely bruised because it was so hard to get her out but she was alive! She weighed 1 pound, 1 ounce and was 10 3/4 centimeters long! She will go down in history as the youngest baby ever resuscitated at UK hospital!

They told us the first 72 hours were critical but Lakyn wanted to be here so badly and she made it happen! She is now 9 days old and continues to not only amaze us but all of her doctors and nurses as well!

We have a long road ahead of us in the NICU (4 months until her due date) and if I ever decide to have another baby they will stitch my cervix from the beginning, and I will have to have the same kind of c section and be checked weekly to make sure my uterus won’t rupture due to the way I had to be cut.

Every baby is a blessing but Lakyn….. she’s a true miracle.”

Watch the video for this exclusive interview.