Mother Saves Premature Baby Born on Cruise Ship

Premature baby AP

A Utah mother desperate to save her prematurely-born 1 1/2-pound boy managed to keep him alive after he was born on a cruise ship.

Emily Morgan, of Ogden, Utah, 28, was traveling on a seven-day cruise around the eastern Caribbean to celebrate her three-year-old daughter Chloe’s birthday, when her contractions started on August 31. When she and her husband saw blood, they alerted the ship’s medical staff, who responded that Morgan could not deliver the baby because they were 14 hours from a Puerto Rican port.

That order became moot when Morgan started to go into labor. Once the baby was delivered, the doctors on board initially told her she had miscarried, then told her 45 minutes later the baby had survived but would soon die.

Morgan, defiantly insisted she wanted to see her newborn son Haiden, whether he was alive or dead. She said later, “I had felt him kicking. I felt the process of him getting bigger. I said, ‘I’m going to see him, I don’t care if he’s alive or if he’s dead.'”

When Morgan saw Haiden, he had a tiny oxygen mask; she recalled, “He was crying, like a little feeble cry.” She forced the doctors to wrap Haiden in clean dry towels and aided staff in creating an incubator made of microwaved saline packets as well as sanitary napkins to keep Haiden’s head warm.

By the time the ship reached Puerto Rico two hours ahead of schedule, Haiden had black spots on his fingers from poor circulation, but two ambulances rushed the family to a hospital. A few days later they moved to a children’s hospital in Miami, where Haiden had a chance at survival. His mother said he has been receiving breast milk through a syringe into a tube in his stomach and may be released from the hospital once his initial Dec. 19 due date arrives.

In the meantime, Chloe is back in Utah with her grandparents. The costs of the medical bills has prompted $15,730 to be donated already on a gofundme site to help raise funds.

According to Dr. Bradley Yoder, medical director of the newborn intensive care unit at the University of Utah, a baby born as premature as Haiden so far from a hospital has less than a 10% chance of surviving. Eighty percent of babies in general  born at 26 weeks survive their first year; roughly 90% of those born at 27 weeks do the same.