Miracle baby

World prematurity day celebrated

18 November 2020 | Health

Latoya Carolissen; Mother; “My baby is living testimony that at 23 weeks she isn’t just a foetus, she is a baby.”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]ein.com.na

Gabrielle Mirabelle Carolissen was born at 23 weeks on 8 June 2020, weighing only 540 grams. She is the youngest baby yet to be born in Namibia.

Five months on, baby Gabrielle is thriving, gaining weight each day although she is still confined to the neonatal ICU of Medi-Clinic Swakopmund.

Her mother, Latoya, calls Gabrielle her miracle baby.

“Our eldest is 12 and we always wanted to have another baby. We waited eight years before we received the news in January that I was pregnant. Before Gabrielle was born at 23 weeks, I spent a month in hospital, and was later placed on strict bed rest.”

She says that one of the doctors told her that her pregnancy would result in a miscarriage. “But she also said that God has the last say. I held onto that and my mother heart telling me, where there is life, there is hope. After Gabrielle’s birth, we spent four months at Medi-Clinic in Windhoek.”

Gabrielle’s lungs weren’t fully developed and she was very prone to infections. The doctors tried every single antibiotic they could to get her infection levels under control. Through various tests it was later realized she does not have a thyroid and the thyroid hormone.


Latoya says that every day is an uphill battle; each day a different challenge.

“There are tiny improvements each day and it is amazing to see her thriving. She is very active.”

Gabrielle was born breach and since her first day she has been very active, kicking her legs.

“While I was pregnant, she was kicking and moving around. Her willpower and determination is amazing to see. She is such a joy.”

Latoya hopes to take Gabrielle home by Christmas.

“She is still connected to the oxygen machine and this might be the case for while even after we are discharged. We are still struggling to feed her. She is truly our miracle baby and if you look at her initials (GMC), I see it as God’s miracle child. This cannot be more fitting for Gabrielle. My husband Leswin always reminds me that we should trust in God and keep on praying, like we’ve been doing.”

Living proof

Latoya is of the opinion that something needs to be done to address the World Health Organisation guidelines when it comes to abortion.

“My baby is living testimony that at 23 weeks your baby isn’t just a foetus. My Gabrielle is living proof and therefore I am strongly against abortions.”

She encourages other mothers to keep the faith and never to give up.

“It’s not easy; I can testify to that. It takes crying, sleepless nights and praying, but keep going. I want premature babies to be given a chance and for doctors to always try their utmost to give these babies their best chance at survival.”

Special celebration

The world celebrates prematurity day on 17 November and Swakopmund Medi-Clinic hosted a special ceremony for all the premature babies who were born there.

Dr Sebastian Gericke, a paediatrician at the hospital, said that this year’s theme is based on a quote by Dr Seuss, that “a person’s a person no matter how small”.

The main aim of the celebration at the hospital is to create awareness. The day was celebrated with mothers and their premature babies, where stories were shared on babies thriving after they were born early.

“There’s life after prematurity. A baby that is born early is still a full born person, still has rights. There is a lot of information that needs to be shared, especially to parents on what to expect when their baby is in the Neonatal ICU,” Dr Gericke said.

He called on mothers to donate their breast milk to either the hospital in Swakopmund or to the breast milk clinic in Windhoek.

“There is always a need for breast milk. Additionally, medical aids expect mothers to pay for breast milk out of their own pockets and it’s a shame. Breast milk is essential to the growth of premature babies. The medical funds and their governing association needs to recognise that breast milk is essential to the survival of premature babies. This places a lot of stress on families who are financially challenged. Hopefully we will address this and make it more affordable and accessible when we establish our own breast milk donor bank.”

Dr Gericke said that one in ten babies is born premature globally.

“In Swakopmund, from November 2019 to November 2020, 50 babies were born premature. We had 331 deliveries, of which roughly 16% to 17% of the babies were premature. We had one baby born at 23 weeks, one baby at 24 weeks, two babies at 28 weeks, three babies at 29 weeks, two babies at 32 weeks, three babies at 34 weeks, two babies at 35 weeks, and the rest at 36 and 37 weeks. A premature baby is a baby born before 37 complete weeks.”

Similar News


Health minister outlines Covid-19 response

17 hours ago | Health

The minister of health and social services Dr Kalumbi Shangula, highlighted various measures put in place at the 20th Covid-19 briefing. Shangula said that Covid-19...

Clinic in the centre of town

1 day - 01 December 2020 | Health

Advertorial Swakopmunder Baby and Wellness Clinic opened its doors on 1 June 2019. The clinic is located in Sam Nujoma Avenue, a block away from...

Hepatitis-E slows down

4 days ago - 28 November 2020 | Health

Windhoek • [email protected] No new hepatitis-E fatalities have been reported in Namibia since 3 March, when the death toll stood at 65.The Covid-19 pandemic...

Four new cases for Erongo

1 week ago - 20 November 2020 | Health

The Erongo region recorded four new Covid-19 cases from Walvis Bay and Swakopmund in addition to three recoveries. The minister of health Kalumbi Shangula announced...

Covid death recorded at Omaruru

2 weeks ago - 18 November 2020 | Health

The Erongo region recorded one Covid-19 death, no new cases and 40 recoveries. Health minister Kalumbi Shangula announced 11 new Covid-19 cases, 297 recoveries...

Erongo records three new Covid cases

2 weeks ago - 17 November 2020 | Health

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula announced 47 new Covid-19 cases from 647 tests, along with 162 recoveries that translates into 6.9% positivity ratio, which is within...

Seven new Covid cases for Erongo

2 weeks ago - 15 November 2020 | Health

The minister of health and social services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, announced 77 Covid-19 positive cases obtained from 1079 tested samples. The Erongo region reported seven...

Senior loses life to Covid-19

2 weeks ago - 12 November 2020 | Health

The minister of health and social services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, announced 53 new positive Covid-19 cases today. These were identified from 1 268 samples, presenting...

Single Covid case reported in Erongo

2 weeks ago - 11 November 2020 | Health

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula announced 81 Covid-19 recoveries and 13 new cases. One of the newly reported cases is from the Erongo region. //Kharas reported...

N$193m earmarked for Covid-19 vaccine

2 weeks ago - 11 November 2020 | Health

Windhoek · [email protected] Namibia has earmarked around N$193 million for the Covax facility which it has joined to acquire the Covid-19 vaccine.Government envisages vaccinating...

Latest News

‘Enjoy this festive season responsibly’...

3 hours ago | Government

President Hage Geingob has called on Namibians to remember that Covid-19 remains a threat in light of the approaching festive season and given various family...

Are we failing our children?

4 hours ago | Education

Bernadette HessOver the years we have experienced many highs and lows in our teaching profession. “When our learners excel academically or in extra-curricular activities we...

Upgrading the Kranzberg railway

4 hours ago | Infrastructure

Arandis • [email protected] The minister of works and transport John Mutorwa officiated the start of the upgrade of the Walvis Bay to Kranzberg railway...

Health minister outlines Covid-19 response...

17 hours ago | Health

The minister of health and social services Dr Kalumbi Shangula, highlighted various measures put in place at the 20th Covid-19 briefing. Shangula said that Covid-19...

CAN says thank you

21 hours ago | Society

The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) officially wraps up its annual schedule this week.“Many important annual events and programmes could not take place this year...

Kersfees kom vroeg met laer...

21 hours ago | Energy

Goeie nuus vir motoriste is dat die pryse van petrol en diesel volgende week daal.Volgens die woordvoerder van die ministerie van myne en energie, mnr....

IPC fills top Walvis municipal...

1 day - 01 December 2020 | Local News

Walvis Bay • [email protected] The Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) took charge of what is regarded as the key positions in the Walvis...

Residents demand land and housing...

1 day - 01 December 2020 | Infrastructure

Swakopmund • [email protected] members of the Swakopmund Housing for All group handed over a petition at the Swakopmund municipality after a peaceful march from the...

Food Fest kom weer ...

1 day - 01 December 2020 | Events

Swakopmund • [email protected] Verlede jaar se Nedbank Food Fest het feesgangers op ’n geurige reis oor die hele wêreld geneem. Fest-organiseerder, Dalene...

Load More