Baby Grace is going home after 116 days in hospital! | Western Cape Government

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Baby Grace is going home after 116 days in hospital!

19 September 2020

It has been 116 days since baby Grace Petro came into this world.

Born prematurely at 24 weeks and 6 days on 27 May 2020 with a weight of only 500 g, odds were not on her side.

“I initially said goodbye to Grace after birth as she was classified as a miscarriage being so early and not breathing directly after birth,” says mom Jacqueline Petro.

However, the medical team did not give up hope and fought to save baby Grace. After counselling and some sleep, Jacqueline was informed of the miracle that her baby was breathing.

“All I could do was cry. I was in total shock,” recalls Jacqueline. Her optimism was sadly short-lived, as Jacqueline was called in by doctors seven days later. She was told that her baby girl was not going to make it.

“I told the doctor to give me my baby and I put her on my chest and told the Lord that if He wants to take her, He needs to do it now, because He won’t have this chance again tomorrow,” she says. Fortunately baby Grace survived.

Jacqueline has had a rough few months. She also broke her ankle in July 2020 and had to be operated on. “This year has been tough, but I am grateful for all the good that has happened,” says Jacqueline.

Grace will be discharged today, Saturday, 19 September 2020, which is a jubilant day for all the staff in the neonatal unit at George Hospital. “Gracie survived so many challenges. She had been a little star patient from the beginning and took every challenge in her stride. Her survival is a testimony to the value of the three pillars of good basic neonatal care: a warm incubator combined with kangaroo care, safe oxygen therapy with high-flow nasal cannula oxygen, and breast milk. This, wrapped in a care package of dedicated nursing and medical staff, and then a little fighting spirit in a 500 g fighter. Grace’s chances of survival were less than 20%. She is the one in five who survived. Her road ahead is long; we will continue to walk the road with her with follow-up appointments at our high-risk clinic and with the help of our occupational therapy team, led by Desiree van der Vyver. We salute you, little one. Your fighting spirit kept us fighting through the difficult COVID-19 times,” says Dr Ilse Els, head of the neonatal ICU at George Hospital.

Grace has a 9-year-old brother who eagerly awaits her homecoming. “There are so many people who can’t wait for Grace to come home,” says Jacqueline.

Western Cape Government Health wishes to thank all staff who were instrumental in Grace’s recovery and we wish Grace all the best for the future!

Media Enquiries: 

Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 076 379 5423