'Miracle Baby' Haiden Morgan, 1.5-Pound Preemie Born On A Cruise Ship, Beats Odds And Survives Birth

cruise
Per the latest release, cruise ships stuck in limbo still struggle to dock due to coronavirus pandemic. Pixabay, public domain

Haiden Morgan may possibly be the first premature baby to survive being born at 23 weeks — on a cruise ship 100 miles from land, lacking an obstetrician and an incubator, and possibly facing some of the greatest odds for an infant. It would take nearly 14 hours for his parents to reach the nearest hospital, yet Haiden survived.

Haiden’s mother, Emily Morgan, was on a Royal Caribbean cruise with her husband Chase and 3-year-old daughter when she began feeling contractions. Though she was only five months pregnant — and her doctor had approved the trip earlier — Emily began to feel as though something was wrong when the pains didn’t stop after three or four hours. When the blood began rushing, they hurried to the medical unit on the ship.

“I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t really comprehend how wrong,” Emily told The Washington Post. “I didn’t think about what the possibilities were. All I knew was I was going to have a baby.”

Shortly after, however, Emily’s fear set in: “I was naïve,” she told The Washington Post. “I didn’t understand what was going to happen from there… I didn’t realize that there were going to be complications, and there were going to be problems, and we were a long way out at sea. All of that unfolded as we went along.”

The nurse and on-ship doctor assisted Emily in the medical unit, but they told her they weren’t equipped to handle a 23-week-old preemie. Any baby born before 37 weeks is considered premature; a baby born at 23 is considered severely abnormal, and has only a 30 percent chance of survival. The doctor and nurse were nervous that the baby wouldn’t make it — but he was born late at night on Aug. 31, then managed to survive the rest of the night despite battling hypothermia due to being so small.

Emily and Chase Morgan stayed awake that night hoping to keep their baby alive for as long as they could. They wrapped him in new towels to keep him warm, and even created a makeshift incubator made of microwaved saline pouches.

By the next morning, the cruise ship, which had been speeding to Puerto Rico — the closest land — arrived two hours early. Haiden was still alive, so he was rushed to a hospital where he was placed in an incubator. He will have to stay in the intensive care unit in Miami until December, where he’ll hopefully recover from potential complications, infections, low weight, and breathing problems.

Regardless, the Morgans are grateful that their baby survived the long night on the cruise ship, a testament to Haiden’s (and his parents’) strong disposition.

“The doctors really tell us that he’s a miracle baby,” Emily told The Washington Post. “It’s a miracle he’s here.”

Loading...
Join the Discussion