Haiden Morgan has been called a “miracle baby.”
Morgan was born almost four months early on a cruise ship that was miles from shore. Doctors believed the infant had no chance of surviving, yet his mother, Emily Morgan, refused to give up on him. With the help of cruise staff, she created a makeshift incubator for the baby and kept him alive until the ship reached port.
Today, Haiden, who weighed just 1.5 pounds at birth, has a good prognosis, doctors say.
“On a daily basis they tell us he's a miracle baby and that he wants to be here,” Emily told KSL-TV.
Haiden was born on August 31. His parents, Chase and Emily, and his 3-year-old sister Chloe, were traveling on a Royal Caribbean cruise liner at the time to celebrate Chloe’s birthday. On the second day of the journey, Emily -- who wasn't due till December and had been cleared for the cruise by her doctor -- started to experience intense labor pains.
A doctor aboard the ship told her she couldn’t give birth because the ship was still 14 hours from the nearest port in Puerto Rico. But Emily says she had no other option.
“I knew the baby was coming," she told The Associated Press.
Thirty minutes after her conversation with the doctor, Emily gave birth.
Following the delivery, Emily says the ship’s medical staff told her that she had miscarried. When she demanded to see the child, the staff informed her that he was still alive, but wouldn’t live for long.
“I had felt him kicking. I felt the process of him getting bigger,” Emily told AP. “I said, ‘I’m going to see him, I don't care if he's alive or if he's dead.’”
Once she was with her son, Emily did everything she could to keep him alive. She and the ship’s medical staff wrapped the boy in fresh towels, and tucked “microwaved saline packets around him to create a makeshift incubator.” They also used a sanitary napkin to keep his head warm, per the AP.
At the same time, the ship’s captain began racing towards land. The ship arrived two hours earlier than expected, and the baby was immediately rushed to a hospital in Puerto Rico. A few days later, Haiden was transferred to a facility in Miami.
Haiden will likely remain in the hospital until December. Although his condition is reportedly stable, he’s still so tiny that doctors call him a “micro-preemie,” per KSL-TV.
Haiden's parents say he is a real “fighter.”
“He will make it through all of this,” they wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to defray Haiden’s medical expenses. “He might not like needles or want to go to any checkups for a very long time after this, but he will continue to be an inspiration to all that hear his story.”
Thus far, the GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $3,000.
Haiden's family says they are grateful for all the support and encouragement they've received. They've also been blown away by the help they've been given by Royal Caribbean.
“Royal Caribbean has really been great in keeping in touch after we got into Puerto Rico, making sure that everything was running smoothly,” Chase Morgan told KSL-TV.
The cruise company has yet to comment on the unexpected at-sea delivery.
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