Expected to be her family’s Halloween treat, Catharine Aboulhouda instead made her arrival 16 weeks early on the Fourth of July, weighing 1 pound, 10 ounces and just 12 inches long. Born at 24 weeks, Catharine was in an extremely critical situation and was in for the fight of her life.
“Catharine was born at the lower limit of viability with babies born before 24 weeks having around a 10% chance of survival at that time,” says Marijo Zelinka, MD, neonatologist at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital. “From having severe lung disease and breathing issues to facing daily challenges caused by bleeding in her brain, jaundice and a heart murmur, Catharine conquered it all. She was a small little baby, but she was a strong one.”