BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - One in 10 babies are born premature and in most cases, there are little warning signs.
November is Premature Awareness Month and the goal is to inform mothers of this possibility.
Magen McCarly is the mother of Premature Twins. She woke up in labor at only 22 weeks pregnant.
"But, because I was only 22 weeks no one in Atlanta would accept it. They were just like she is less than 24 weeks. There is nothing we can do at this point," she explained.
In labor and could not find a hospital to take her until her specialist called UAB and found Dr. Wally Carlo.
"At 22 weeks, most babies do not survive but that does not mean we don't try," Dr. Carlo declared.
"They took me when nobody else would so UAB has a huge place in my heart because they gave us a shot," McCarly said gratefully.
The NICU became their home for several weeks. For Curze's twin sister, Cash, it was her only home here on Earth. Thanks to the family's team of doctors like Dr. Carlo, it was only temporary for her.
"It is a miracle it's the effort of everyone," Dr. Carlo explained.
Now Avery is much bigger than she was but a fighter like her is hard to forget.
Seeing pictures like this mean the world to these doctors:
"It takes a lot of work and a lot of satisfaction because you save one life and you change the world," Dr. Carlo stated.
"I want people to see Curze being a 22-week-old that there is hope for these kids that are born so early don't just write them off that they are too early," Mrs. McCarly explained.
UAB is doing a lot of cutting-edge research to help find ways to give premature babies a better chance. A lot of it is geared to save babies 22 to 24 weeks old right now. UAB is leading the way in antenatal steroids. They have shown in several different studies the benefit of antenatal steroids.
"For example, at 23 and 24 weeks, if the mother receives steroids there is a substantial reduction in the rates of mortality," he explained.
They are also doing a lot of research after the baby is born and they are trying to improve the outcomes.
"For example, we have done a lot of research in how to use the breathing machines and oxygen support and we have reduced mortality and have reduced chronic lung disease in babies," he explained.
If you want to help support to efforts that assist premature babies and the research being done to save them Dr. Carlo says March of Dimes in a great place to start.
"They have programs for prevention prematurity, research programs, and service programs, they also have programs for the mothers that have had the premature baby so they can get assistance in several ways," Dr. Carlo explained.