Sixth McCaughey baby comes off ventilator
Expert: Chances of survival 98 percent
November 27, 1997
Web posted at: 6:39 p.m. EST (2339 GMT)
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) -- As friends and family of the
McCaughey septuplets gave thanks Thursday for their very
special blessings this year, another of the babies came off a
ventilator and started breathing on its own.
Alexis May was upgraded from serious to fair condition,
joining Kenneth Robert, Natalie Sue, Kelsey Ann, Joel Steven
and Brandon James on the list of babies breathing on their
A week after the septuplets' history-making birth, only one
baby, Nathaniel Roy, remains in serious condition, breathing
with assistance of a ventilator.
The parents, Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey, planned to spend much
of Thanksgiving Day at the hospital with their children.
A L S O :
First pictures of McCaughey septuplets
"They're spending a lot of time at the hospital now that
they're able to hold the babies," said family spokeswoman
Grandfather Ken McCaughey said he's thankful this year "not
just for seven new reasons, but many reasons."
"I'm just confident the Lord's going to handle this. He's
brought them this far, and I think he's going to carry it
through," said McCaughey, Kenny's father.
Val McCaughey and her 22-month-old granddaughter Mikayla McCaughey
The six babies who have been weaned off the ventilator are
being fed food through tubes in their nose, as they can't yet
suck and feed on their own. Nathan is still being fed
Going from intravenous feedings to oral feedings is an
important milestone because it reduces the chance of
infection. And a fourth of all premature infants who die are
felled by infection, according to Tim Cooper, an assistant
professor of neonatology at the Baylor College of Medicine.
"These (babies) are keepers," said Cooper. "If you're alive
at seven days and were born at 31 weeks (of gestation), then
your chance of living is 98 percent."
The McCaughey septuplets are only the second known set of
seven babies to be born alive and the only ones to survive