Baby Diana Peguero is one of the smallest and most premature babies in the world to survive and thrive. She entered the world as the ultimate Mother's Day surprise on May 10, 2020 at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, when her mother was just 22 weeks pregnant. She is considered a "micro-preemie," born weighing 350 grams (12 ounces) and nine inches long. After examining her size and development, her medical team came to believe that she may have actually been younger than 22 weeks, as gestational age is just an estimate.
The odds were against Diana, as most babies born this early and small have a near-impossible chance of survival. Miraculously, she never needed any life-saving surgeries – just time and care from the team of experts in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Diana has grown to over 7 pounds, becoming the most premature surviving baby to ever graduate from the hospital's NICU. Parents Federico and Jomary are thrilled to finally take their first and only child home after spending nearly six months traveling to and from their home in Ocala, Florida to be with Diana. For Federico, her homecoming is extra special as he celebrated his birthday on November 5.
"It's a bittersweet day for us in the NICU," said Dr. Thais Queliz, neonatologist at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer. "We're sad to see Diana leave, since she and her parents have been with us for so long. But we're so proud of how far she's come and are happy for them to start their lives at home as a family of three."
Her miraculous journey home comes at such a fitting time, as November is National Prematurity Awareness Month. According to the University of Iowa's Tiniest Baby Registry (which keeps a running list of reported cases of smallest surviving babies), Diana will join a group of only 10 babies in the world recorded to have survived at her size and gestational age.