Dying NICU Preemie Stares at Dad & Grabs His Finger—When His Son Stops Blinking, He Knows…

“This is a story of a mother’s love for her baby…”

Those are Benjamin Scot’s opening words in a blog he wrote about the hardest year of his life, the year his son was born. Little Ward Miles was born premature and spent 107 days in the hospital before his mom, Lyndsey, finally got to hold him. You can see the power of the moment in this beautiful picture:

“It sums up my son’s first year. He was born way too early, and the obstacles he had to overcome were really big, but not bigger than our God,” Benjamin writes. He intentionally shared the harsh moments, this was the reality, a child covered in tubes and wires and needles and doctors and tears and late nights and prayers. All summed up in one painfully beautiful picture.

Benajmin wanted to remember the “ugly” moments. “The reason being, I wanted people to see how bad he looked, so that when they look at him today they get a better sense of how far he has come,” he wrote. “It is truly a miracle and we thank God daily for getting him to where he is!”

Just 10 days into Ward’s life the doctors did a brain scan to look for bleeding. There are four levels of severity that doctors judge the severity of fluid in the brain, 4 being the worst, and baby Ward was a 4 on one side of his brain and a 2 on the other. Ben recalls feeling helpless, “The bleeds could lead to severe problems down the road. And we couldn’t do anything to fix it. The doctors couldn’t do anything to fix it. It was a horrible feeling. All we could do was pray.”

That night, something amazing happened that Ben wrote about:

At the 6:00 care time, we were holding his hand, looking at him, talking to him. His CPAP mask was off, and his feeding tube was out as well. He was feeling good since he didn’t have any of that on. While we were watching him, he turned his little head towards us, and then opened his eyes. We know he can’t see at this stage, but the fact that he opened them, and opened them so wide we had not seen before. He stared right at us. He held our gaze. Just looked right at us. Didn’t blink. I had enough time to get a photo of it. After a little while he shut his little eyes and turned his head back to the ceiling. I will never forget that moment. I feel as if he was telling us ‘I’m okay!!! Don’t give up on me!

Benjamin put the video together as a surprise for Lyndsey’s 32nd birthday which also happened to fall on the one-year anniversary of the day Ward was released from the hospital and came home for the first time. “I had tricked her into thinking I was working on other projects late into the night. I called her back to my office and as soon as she saw Ward on the screen she knew I had been working on something for her and she started crying.”

The first time you hold your child is an emotional one, and that was especially the case for this mama after waiting 107 long days. Tears began to fill her eyes as her son, covered in tubes and bandages, was placed in her arms. “The miracle of life” is a phrase that so often gets taken for granted. Just the redundant act of breathing is a miracle that should leave us in awe of our Creator.

Against the odds, this little guy survived his premature birth and is growing and gaining strength every day. Praise God for the gift of life!

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Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.