‘Miracle Baby’ Born on Cruise Ship
A family of three boards Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas ship for what was supposed to be a relaxing a vacation – and leaves with a newborn member, when the expectant mother gives birth to a premature baby in the middle of a 7-day cruise.
28-year-old Emily Morgan of Utah was 23 weeks into an uneventful pregnancy and cleared for cruise travel by her physician. She, along with her husband Chase and three-year-old daughter Chloe, had boarded a seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Independence of the Seas in celebration of Chloe’s birthday. To their surprise, they would be celebrating another birth – that of their new baby Haiden.
The baby was not due until December, but contractions experienced by Morgan on the second day of the cruise soon made it clear that little Haiden was on his way, even as the ship was 14 hours away from the nearest port. Morgan delivered the 1 and 1/2-pound baby, who was initially pronounced dead. Though the infant was revived, the medical staff was wary of his chances of survival. Cruise ships, after all, are required to prepare staff and equipment for emergencies of a general nature, but that does not necessarily cover the things needed specifically by premature babies. There was, for example, no incubator on board.
But Haiden’s family and personnel from the ship were determined to see him through his ordeal; they had him on an oxygen mask, kept him warm with towels and a sanitary napkin, and created a makeshift incubator using microwaved saline packets. The captain played a pivotal part too, speeding the ship over to Puerto Rico, which they reached two lifesaving hours earlier than scheduled. Ambulances then brought the family to a hospital, where they stayed for a few days before being transferred to Miami.
Haiden is said to be doing well, but he is expected to stay in the hospital until his original due date in December. The family has a GoFundMe account to help cover medical expenses related to the incident.
The story has been hailed as a miracle, given the slim chances of survival due to the infant’s age, the ship’s distance from land, and the lack of medical equipment on board for premature babies. The infant’s strong lungs, plus the determination and quick thinking on the part of his family and the ship’s personnel are being credited for defying the odds.
It is not known what may have caused the mother’s early contractions. Either way, the story of this lucky family should be a reminder of the unexpected things that can happen on any vacation, and for passengers with medical conditions or traveling with seniors, children or expectant mothers to be aware of what emergencies cruise lines are or are not equipped to handle. Kemplon Engineering is one with the nation in wishing the family well, and in hoping for Haiden’s continued positive progress.
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^ McCarthy, Sky. “‘Miracle baby’ born on cruise ship: What pregnant passengers need to know.” FoxNews.com, 25 Sep 2015. Web. 04 Oct 2015. http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2015/09/25/miracle-baby-born-on-cruise-ship-what-pregnant-passengers-need-to-know/
^ “’Miracle baby’ on board: Cruise ship nurses use a makeshift incubator to save one-and-a-half pound baby born three MONTHS premature while the vessel was at sea.” Mail Online, 24 Sep 2015. Web. 04 Oct 2015. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3248159/1-1-2-pound-baby-born-cruise-ship-beats-odds-survive.html
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^ Whitehurst, Lindsay. “Tiny baby arrives early – aboard a cruise ship.” SunSentinel, 25 Sep 2015. Web. 04 Oct 2015. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-ap-tiny-baby-royal-caribbean-20150925-story.html
^ Image “Woman Holding Her Hands In A Heart Shape On Her Pregnant Belly” courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net