Miracle premature baby born at just 22 weeks saved by medic using sandwich bag

Baby Eris was placed straight into a plastic bag to keep her vital organs warm – preventing the risk of hypothermia – whilst mum Cayce Lee, 37, was under general anaesthetic

Baby Eris was born prematurely at just 22 weeks
Baby Eris was born prematurely at just 22 weeks

A premature baby born at 22 weeks was saved by resourceful medics using a sandwich bag.

Little Eris unexpectedly entered the world at 22 weeks and five days, weighing the same as a small can of soup at 1lb 1oz.

She was placed straight into a plastic bag to keep her vital organs warm – preventing the risk of hypothermia – whilst mum Cayce Lee, 37, was under general anaesthetic following the emergency c-section.

Cayce, 37 and her husband Dennis, 35, prepared to say goodbye on more than one occasion during the 254 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Cayce, from Lewisville, North Carolina US, said: “I was always quite nervous when I was pregnant with Eris as I had a stillbirth before.

“The doctors stitched my cervix shut to prevent an early breach, and I was having progesterone injections from about 16 weeks.

Eris with parents Dennis and Cayce when she was in hospital


Mercury Press & Media Ltd.)

“At 19 weeks, the doctor’s found that I was already dilated by two centimetres.

“I managed to last another three weeks, which helped us to get Eris over the threshold where medical staff could intervene to save her life.”

After going into labour, Cayce was put under anaesthetic as a surgical team performed an emergency c-section, placing Eris into a sandwich bag before racing to place her in the NICU on a ventilator.

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After her birth, Eris developed a series of health problems, including a staph infection caused by bacteria, pneumonia, and sepsis.

At one point, Eris was also put on a life support machine (ECMO) after being coming extremely ill, and unable to breathe alone.

Medics did not know if Eris was going to survive


Mercury Press & Media Ltd.)

Her parents were told to say goodbye on more than one occasion.

Cayce said: “Eris had pneumonia four times, and we’d be getting calls at 6:30 am to come to see her as the hospital was so concerned about her condition.

“There were so many times when we didn’t think she’d make it.

“But she pulled through every single time.

She added: “Her lungs were the main problem, as she really struggled to breathe alone.

“She was pretty much on all the maxed-out settings on the ventilator.”

Cayce first got to hold Eris at one and a half weeks, whilst husband Dennis was only able to hold her after seven weeks due to Eris’ fragile state, alongside Covid-19 restrictions.

It was several weeks before Cayce was able to hold Eris once more.

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She said: “It’s amazing how much she does, a proper little warrior.

“There were times when I was terrified that she wouldn’t make it this far, but she proves me wrong every day.

“She was so small when she was born, for two months we couldn’t dress her in any clothes and had to get specialised premature clothing.

“A charity called TwentyFiveAndFour, based in Tucson, Arizona, sent us velcro t-shirts to put her in, and they were one of the first things she wore.

“Now she’s over a year old and fitting into nine-to-12-month clothes.

“She still has a trach and spends most of the day and night on a ventilator, but she’s stable and a happy little girl.

“But now her lungs are maturing and she is making progress with every passing day.”

“We wouldn’t have her any other way, she’s our little miracle.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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