All babies are born tiny, but the story of Ward Miles, who was born 15 weeks early, is very impressive.
Little Ward, who was born at almost 5.5 months, has come a long way with the care and love of his parents and the support of doctors and nurses. Benjamin Miller, a photographer, also documented their little son’s miraculous first year in a video. This video, which gives encouragement and hope to premature mothers, was watched 4.5 million times in 4 days on Youtube.
“I was so worried about him. It wasn’t his fault. There was no way he could fix it. We couldn’t fix anything. The doctors couldn’t fix anything. It was a terrible feeling. All we could do was pray,” the father later said.
The video begins with new mom Lyndsey gingerly picking up her son, who weighed only 680 grams, about the size of a mother’s hand. four days after he was born 15 weeks early at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The baby’s whole body was covered with slings, looking so pitiful that any viewer would shed tears for him.
With the help of the nurses moving wires and medical equipment, Lyndsey eases into a chair and holds her tiny son to her chest. She smiles for the camera, and then the new mother becomes overwhelmed by the moment and bursts into tears. The moving scene is just one of many in the couple’s emotional roller coaster following the birth of their premature son on July 16, 2012.
In the early days, it was scary that the child could have irreversible consequences due to such a small weight and an early birth.
Most of the ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ ᴇǫᴜɪᴘᴍᴇɴᴛ was removed from the baby and wrapped in a diaper.
“On one such difficult day, we were there. The baby was without a mask and without a tube. And then, all of a sudden, he turned his head and… smiled! We knew he couldn’t see at this stage, but the fact that he opened his eyes and opened them so wide was something we hadn’t seen before. He was looking right at us! I had enough time to photograph it. After a while, he closed his eyes and slightly turned his head back towards the ceiling. I will never forget that moment. I feel like he was telling us, ‘I’m fine! Don’t lose faith in me!’ Here is that photo.”
A miracle has happened. After his first 107 days of life in the hospital, Ward Miles finally went home on October 31, 2012.
Mr. Miller said: “It was such an amazing feeling to have him home, where he belonged. The family could not have coped with their ordeal without the love and prayers of family and thousands of friends and supporters, some of whom they had never met. I want to thank all the doctors, nurses, and staff all over the world that make it their life’s mission to help babies get better! It’s because of you that my son ever stood a chance to make it home.”
Ward is no longer tube fed; he can hold the bottle himself!
“THIS is why ᴀʙᴏʀᴛɪᴏɴ should be illegal. What a beautiful video. I am a new father myself and I couldn’t imagine life without her. I hope nobody saw me crying at work. lol. God bless them and hope they have many more years together,” a person said.
“My son was only 2 weeks early but spent those two weeks in the N.I.C.U with severe respiratory problems. I cannot imagine what these parents went through but I’m happy their son is doing well. Enjoy him every day,” another one said.