Mum delivers son at just 26 weeks due to illness

This inspirational story will pull at your heart strings.

Jackie Mangiolino has given birth to her son at just 26-weeks after she developed a rare life-threatening pregnancy condition.

The condition, known as HELLP syndrome, is only cured by delivery, and saw her newborn spend 99 days in intensive care. 

Despite feeling healthy during her pregnancy, Jackie had borderline high blood pressure. 

When she noticed she was becoming very swollen and had gained 5kgs in a few days, she checked her blood pressure and found it to be dangerously high.

Jackie was then in and out of hospital for several days before HELLP syndrome, a rare liver and blood clotting disorder, was diagnosed.

Only 26 weeks pregnant at the time, doctors worked hard to keep her stable for six days, prolonging the birth for as long as possible.

(Credit: Jackie/MediaDrumWorld)

‘There is no way to determine how HELLP syndrome is developed and it’s considered a random, unpreventable illness,’ Jackie explained. ‘Once it began to progress, we knew it would be life threatening and that we’d need to deliver the baby via emergency c-section.’

‘I was admitted to the hospital at twenty-five-weeks pregnant and I knew our goal was to stay stable and not deliver for as long as possible. We monitored the baby closely, and it was a huge sense of comfort to see that, while I was sick, he was still growing and healthy.

Jackie and Mike’s son Richie was born on May 29, 2016, weighing just two pounds, two ounces and cried as soon as he arrived in the world. 

Despite spending the first 99-days of his life in an intensive care unit, Jackie said that the family are ‘so lucky’ that Richie didn’t suffer any major setbacks.  

‘He had no brain bleeds, no heart deformities, no vision or hearing damage – he’s just amazing,’ she added. ‘He does have some chronic lung disease from being on oxygen for a long time during his NICU stay, but it’s something we’re hopeful he will outgrow.’

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