A little bit of heaven came into the world at Holy Family Hospital recently. Baby Samah, in English, Celeste, meaning “heavenly”, was born 10 weeks early and weighed just over 1 lb.

In early March, Um-Samah, a first-time mother, sought prenatal care at Holy Family’s Mobile Medical Clinic in the isolated village of Nahaleen. Because of shutdowns and road closures caused by the pandemic, she received infrequent prenatal care during her pregnancy. Immediately upon examination, determining that her unborn baby was extremely small for her gestational age, they rushed Um-Samah to Holy Family Hospital. Her frightened husband, a firefighter, joined her there. Married just 10 months, these newlyweds never dreamed of the ordeal ahead.

The medical team at Holy Family Hospital performed an emergency Caesarean-section. Baby Samah at one pound, was so tiny she could fit into the palm of a doctor’s hand. At first vigorous and active, Samah suddenly went into respiratory distress, requiring intubation in the Hospital’s NICU. Because of a congenital obstruction, she had to be fed through her tiny newborn veins. At 54 days, she still needs oxygen, but now weighs 2.2 lbs. She will remain in the tender care of the Hospital’s NICU staff until she can breathe on her own and weighs about 4 lbs.

Baby Samah is just one of the everyday miracles who stay 50-plus days in our NICU. Her grateful parents may have realized the miracle she is when they invoked Heaven in naming her. In 2020, 423 babies passed through our NICU—67 requiring long-term care. The lifesaving care helps the smallest–micro-preemies–not only survive but thrive, despite extreme prematurity. All are followed for five years with checkups at our Development Clinic.

The lifesaving care babies receive at the Hospital—which no poor family can afford—is made possible by your generosity to the Neediest Baby Fund. Because of you, babies like Baby Samah have a chance at life.