Typically, a pregnancy lasts between 37 and 41 weeks before giving birth. As a result, when Jade Ewoldt gave birth to twin daughters in November of last year at just 22 weeks’ gestation, medical professionals didn’t think they had much of a chance of surviving. It is uncommon for infants born after 22 weeks to survive, according to Dr. Jonathan Klein, a neonatologist and medical director at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital where the twins were born. “The survival rate is 10% nationwide. Additionally, the survival rate for twins is even lower.
According to the Associated Press, Keeley James and Kambry Lee Ewoldt, sisters, are the youngest living preterm infants to be delivered at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic. When Jade Ewoldt, a 28-year-old mother, learned that her water had burst on November 23, she claimed she was unable to believe what she was seeing. “I felt angry, depressed and terrified. I can only hope that I don’t give birth to my daughters at home,” the American said. “When you consider these things, it’s overwhelming. To make sure that these two young girls are still alive, so much must be done. Jade was taken by ambulance to the hospital, and the 1:15-hour trip seemed to last forever. Fortunately, she didn’t give birth in an ambulance because those vehicles weren’t prepared for that.
The delivery is not without complications. The babies were the size of a dollar bill, the father explained, with Keeley weighing 1 pound and Kambry born weighing just 13.4 ounces. Their skin is so fragile that it can tear with the slightest touch. Their eyelids are not yet formed and their hearts are about the size of a thumb. Today, however, the twins are alive and well. The mother said: “So far, they have defied all the difficulties against them. However, the twins remain in the neonatal intensive care unit until their first due date, March 29. Keeley currently weighs just over 4 pounds and Kambry weighs almost 4 pounds.
The twins’ tale is comparable to that of Courtney Jackson, who was delivered in 2001 at 23 weeks. At birth, Jackson weighed just over a pound and had eight teaspoons of blood in his body. Jackson’s prognosis from the medical community was 50%. Now in good health, Jackson is a senior in high school who will graduate in May.