Thursday, March 17, 2005

Miracle Baby Has First Birthday

DECATUR, Ga. — Emmanuel Hawkins celebrated a birthday Wednesday that he was never supposed to live to see.

For 16 weeks after his mother lapsed into a coma brought on by an assault, Emmanuel continued to grow inside her womb. Doctors tried to persuade his grandmother, Nonnie Hawkins, to end the pregnancy. They warned her that even if Emmanuel was born, he could be severely deformed — or stillborn.

"I told them, 'I rebuke you.' I have the final say," Hawkins said. "I'm believing my child is going to wake up and have this baby."

But after 114 days, Tara Hawkins-Bottoms never woke up. The 18-year-old did, however, stay alive long enough to give birth on March 16, 2004, to a 2-pound, 10-ounce boy.
"God delivered him," Hawkins said.

Her daughter was taken off life support two days later.

Born three months premature — very weak and barely breathing — Emmanuel was not expected to survive 24 hours. He was hospitalized for 10 weeks with medical problems that included a bacterial infection and low blood pressure, and he had to have heart and eye surgery.
"He was as close to death's door as you can get without entering," said his doctor, neo-natologist Bridget Cobb. "To come from those circumstances is just miraculous to me. It was a reminder to me that I am not in charge."

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