"Precious Gift" Goes Home in Time for Christmas

Baby born three months early released from hospital on original due date

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Baby Martin Huerta Jr. was born 24 weeks premature on Sept. 3.

    The Huerta family of Plainfield on Wednesday carefully unwrapped a very special gift they'd waited patiently to get home for three months.

    Just in time for Christmas, baby Martin Huerta Jr. left the hospital that's cared for him since being born prematurely three months ago.

    He was given a 50 percent chance to survive when he was born on Sept. 3.  After 15 long weeks, Martin was discharged from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove on the date he was originally due to be born.

    The boy weighed only 1 pound, 3 ounces at birth. Despite his initial size, he has proven to be quite the fighter.  He's gone through countless medical tests as well as the frightening ordeal of heart surgery.

    "For a premature baby of his age, he has done very well," said Martin’s neonatologist, Dr. Jeanette Hoenig.  "One of the decisions we have to make medically is if we can get the baby off oxygen to go home, and I think it will still be some time before we can do that, but I decided he will do just as well, if not better, at home."

    According to Dr. Hoenig, babies born at 23 weeks are given a 30 percent survival rate. The rate increases to 50 percent at the 24 week marker.

    "He’s going to be our most precious gift this holiday," said his father, Martin Huerta, Sr.