Tiny New Year's baby goes home

Tiny New Year's baby goes home
By: Tiffany Sisson
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - At the first of the year, Heartland News introduced you to a very tiny New Year's baby, born just an inch longer than a Barbie doll. Monday, her parent's dream of taking her home became a reality.
At four pounds, four ounces, Philomena Leona really is a bundle of joy to her mother, Andrea Pavone. "She shouldn't even be leaving the hospital yet, and you know she's here already," exclaimed Pavone.
Philomena is little more than 7-weeks-old, and is heading home a full week before her due date of February 28th. "She showed up 2 months early. Surprise! I was at work, and was having complications. I came in, and they decided to deliver her that night," said Pavone.
Philomena was born New Year's Day, weighing 1 pound 14 ounces, 13 and a half inches long. She was just barely longer than a Barbie doll. An imprint of her feet was barely the size of a door key.
Dr. Richard Flaksman, a neonatologist, said, "She was so small, yet she didn't have a lot of physiological problems like breathing issues, digestive issues. She was actually further along maturity wise than you would think based on her size."
For those reasons, Philomena was able to get stronger at Southeast Hospital, not requiring a trip to a more intense hospital in St. Louis. "The other reason that she did so well is because of the quality of the nursing care that she got here, especially in these first critical several days where the organ systems are still stabilizing," said Flaksman.