Tiny Baby is Home Laughing After 181 Days in Hospital Not Expected to Survive

Krysten Risbon, a first-time mother from Pennsylvania, recounts the inspiring survival story of her son, Zaylan, who was born 16 weeks early and spent 181 days in hospital. Zaylan, the infant, was diagnosed with a heart condition and required constant oxygen support due to his premature birth.

Krysten and the baby’s father, Janerio Reed, were ecstatic about expecting their first child in August 2022. However, at 23 weeks and six days into her pregnancy, Krysten experienced bleeding and intense pain. Upon examination, it was revealed she was 4cm dilated and was likely to give birth imminently.

Despite the overwhelming odds, Krysten remained hopeful, saying, “It was scary because nobody could come with me.. I just kept thinking everything was going to be ok.” Subsequently, she was airlifted to UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, a specialized neonatal intensive care unit. Here, medical personnel administered steroids to aid Zaylan’s lung development and were successful in postponing his birth for another two days. Zaylan was eventually born on December 23rd, weighing a mere 1 lb 6 oz.

Despite his small size and fragile health, Zaylan proved to be a fighter. After his birth, he underwent surgery for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), an eye disease common in premature infants, to enhance his eyesight.

After a long and challenging journey, Zaylan was finally discharged from the hospital on June 21, 2023. Krysten expressed her disbelief and joy at having him home, reflecting on how tiny he was at birth. Inspired by her son’s journey and the care they received, Krysten is now studying to become a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), aiming to provide similar support to other families facing such challenges.