By Ann Rubin
(KSDK) - In May, she was abandoned in a St. Charles dumpster. Now a baby, born ten weeks premature, is making a remarkable recovery at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center.
We were not allowed to see the baby, but doctors say she is extremely lucky and very strong. And all indications are that she will grow up to be a perfectly healthy little girl.
The neonatal intensive care unit is where the tiniest patients go. It's where, for the last three weeks, doctors have been caring for an infant they call simply "Baby Girl."
Dr. Farouk Sadiq says, "The nurses love her and they hold her and cuddle her. We all love her very much." Doctors say it's amazing she's come as far as she has, considering where she started just a few weeks ago.
Paramedics found her in a dumpster behind a Mexican restaurant. The baby was wrapped in a garbage bag and left for dead. She was born ten weeks premature.
Emergency crews rushed here to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center. Dr. Sadiq says, "When she first came in here she was very sick. She had some respiratory distress, breathing difficulties and was in a mild state of shock."
Still, doctors knew she had a fighting chance. They say the garbage bag actually kept the baby warm and provided a small sterile bubble inside the dumpster. Dr. Sadiq says, "Considering how we treat babies when they're born in a hospital, we keep them sterile and clean and everything. And the fact that this baby was in a dumpster, what an incredible start and yet she came through and doesn't have an infection. I mean that's truly a miracle."
Since then, Baby Girl has been steadily improving. She's now eating on her own. Dr. Sadiq says, "She's not on any breathing or respiratory support whatsoever. So it's remarkable how well she's doing."
Doctors say she now weighs nearly four pounds and could be discharged in the near future. First, she needs to gain some more weight. And she needs to start taking bottle feedings.
But the staff at Cardinal Glennon says they'll be sad to see her go. Baby girl has become an inspiration for everyone. Dr. Sadiq says, "It's truly amazing. I've never heard a story like this before."
In the next few weeks, authorities expect to file charges against the baby's 22-year old mother. The infant is currently in state custody. No word on where she'll go when she's discharged from the hospital.