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Baby born weighing less than 11 ounces goes home from South Bend hospital

Audrey Mead was born on Thanksgiving, four months premature and weighing a little more than half a pound.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A baby girl who weighed just under 11 ounces when she was born at South Bend's Memorial Hospital on Thanksgiving finally went home this week.

Audrey Mead, the smallest baby to live in Memorial Hospital history, went home with her parents on Monday.

“It’s amazing to see her wiggling around so much and making all these noises. The progress that she’s made is just incredible,” her father, Tim, told WNDU.

She was born nearly four months early when her mother, Brooke, suffered from preeclampsia, a severe pregnancy complication. 

Audrey's doctor said the child's case is so rare, that there are no statistics for babies who weigh 300 grams (10.6 ounces). 

“Babies born at that early gestation, if they don’t...do well, they tell us right away in the first few days of life," said Dr. Basharat Buchh.

Brooke, who works at the hospital where her daughter was born, was encouraged by Audrey's movements in her first week, but relied on faith to get her family through.

Credit: WNDU
Audrey Mead was born four months early on Thanksgiving, weighing less than 11 ounces.

“Honestly, I prayed every day. I prayed to God every day that she would make it,” she told WNDU through tears. “We knew, like, that the first week was crucial. But even, you know, like that first week, she was moving around - like swinging her arms, kicking her feet. She was very active. And that gave us hope.”

Audrey leaves the hospital weighing almost 11 pounds. 

Credit: WNDU
Audrey Mead left the hospital more than six months after she was born weighing less than 11 ounces.

“Not everybody that is born in the NICU, or taken care of in the NICU, does well. But it’s moments like these, the days that kids like that go home that keep us going, give us immense joy,” Buchh said.

Credit: WNDU
Audrey Mead with South Bend Memorial Hospital NICU Dr. Basharat Buchh on the day of her NICU "graduation."

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