In 2004, then 15-year-old mom, Cherish Coates, delivered her own baby quietly in her bedroom because she didn’t want to tell her grandparents that she was pregnant. Her boyfriend then put the 3-pound premature boy, who they named Allen, in a shoebox wrapped in a dish towel and carried him almost 8 miles in the snow to SwedishAmerican hospital in Rockford, Ill. With a body temperature of 94.7, the baby was in grave condition. Premature babies must be kept warm immediately because they lack the fat to raise their body temperature. They also are often not developed enough to regulate their own blood sugar or breathe on their own, said Dr. Martin Anyebuno, MEDNAX-affiliated neonatologist who treated the baby that day and still works at the hospital. Anyebuno was surprised to see that the tiny baby was breathing on his own, despite all the stress he had experienced. “This is one of the cases I won’t forget,” Anyebuno said. “There was someone looking down on him.” Now 12 years later, both Cherish and Allen are thriving.
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Photo source: Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune