Premature baby boy Rayden, who was born at 25 weeks, is swamped by dad’s wedding ring

This little one is an absolute fighter!

premature miracle baby

by Hannah Mellin |
Published on

This family have truly defied the odds of survival!

Baby Rayden, who was born prematurely at 25 weeks, was so small when he was born his father’s wedding band swamped his tiny leg.

Rayden Isavic Mondragen was just 10.5 inches long and weighed 14oz – less than a punnet of strawberries and the same length as a 30cm ruler. – when he was born on September 29.

The tiny miracle was delivered by emergency Caesarean section because he was starved of oxygen, and only had the developmental age of a 21 week old foetus – three weeks younger than the UK’s 24 week legal abortion rate.

premature miracle baby

Mum Marissa Mondragon, 23, from Othello, Washington, USA, said: “He’s shocked all of us – everyday he surprises us. We expected to have more problems with him, but he’s doing great.”

When Rayden first born, he was so small that his father's wedding ring swamped his tiny little legs and his baby footprint was the same size was the tip of his mother's thumb. However, the now five-week old baby has gone from strength to strength - a true little miracle.

Marissa, who has an older son Robert Jnr, six, with husband Robert, 24, had a healthy pregnancy until a routine screening to check for Down’s Syndrome at 20 weeks.

premature miracle baby

Doctors detected a high level of spinal fluid, but they also discovered that Rayden was unnaturally small and he was not getting enough oxygen.

Marissa was given two shots of steroids to stimulate her baby’s lungs and she was sent home for two weeks to let the drugs take effect.

But a check-up scan at Samaritan Healthcare, in Moses Lake, Washington, revealed Rayden still wasn’t receiving enough oxygen or nutrients through the placenta.

Doctors immediately told Marissa and warehouse supervisor Robert that they needed to perform an emergency C-section, because there was a risk that their baby could die in the womb.

"At first I didn’t want to take Rayden out," Marissa recalled.

"I would feel him kick at night and he was felt perfectly fine.

She continued: "But I didn’t want to risk his chances."

Rayden was born at Sacred Heart Medical Centre and Children Hospital in Spokane, the closest specialist hospital, a long two hours from their family home.

As soon as he arrived, he was rushed to the neo-natal intensive care unit, where he was put into an incubator.

The moment he arrived, he was rushed to the neo-natal intensive care unit, where he was put in an incubator.

Rayden's lungs were weak and undeveloped and his digestive system was struggling to work properly. Rayden had scans to check for bleeds on his brain, but luckily he was unaffected.

premature miracle baby

Marissa said: "It was a really scary time, because he was so small.

"Robert put his wedding ring on his leg when he was just three days old."

For the first few weeks of his life, Robert and Marissa could only stare at their baby boy through glass.

She said: "I couldn’t hold him until October 15. It had been really hard not to touch him and comfort him, when he wasn’t doing so well.

"But on that day, the nurse sat him on my chest. He was so tiny.

"It was amazing to finally hold him and I just watched him for an hour and a half."

But Rayden now appears to be out of the woods and has grown up to be quite the remarkable little lad. Although he is still extremely small for his age - he now weighs just 1lb 20z - his lungs have become much stronger.

The family are unsure what the future will hold for Rayden as it is too early to determine any long-term repercussions of his prematurity and his stay's in hospital has started to take a toll on the family as they are not together for most of the week.

While Marissa stays at nearby hospital accommodation, Robert remains at home working night shifts while their oldest son stays with Marissa’s cousin.

Father and son visit on weekends to spend time with the latest addition to their family.

Marissa said: "It’s been a tough month and we’ve had a few scares.

"Luckily Rayden is getting stronger and stronger each day.

"Each day is a fight for him but to have him for a month is a miracle."

baby jayden

We hope Rayden and his family keep fighting. We're sending our love and prayers.

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