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Baby Ayvah Defies Odds

When Ayvah was born prematurely at 24 weeks at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, she measured 13 inches long and weighed less than two pounds. Doctors said she had a 50/50 chance of survival.

Even so, her mother Helen Rios held hope that her daughter would pull through. For four and a half months, Ayvah remained in Bellevue’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where physicians cared for her. Rios said the staff also provided her and other parents with emotional support to sustain them through the difficult period.

“It’s amazing what they do with these children, these little ones that are fighting for survival every day,” she said. “It’s also incredible how they helped me get through this.”

“Ayvah had her ups and downs. But she overcame it,” Rios added. “It was a long road. But it was a supportive road.”

Doctors explained that the premature birth and sensitive delivery were due to the mother’s placenta previa, a condition where the placenta is lying unusually low and covering the cervix. In addition to Ayvah’s fragile condition, Rios was hemorrhaging, needed blood transfusions, and had fluid in the lungs.

Today, both Rios and Ayvah have fully recovered and enjoy taking stroller walks to playgrounds in Manhattan’s lower East Side with father and sister, Navaeh.

For Rios and her baby, several factors were crucial to their positive outcome including attentive prenatal care, expert labor and delivery services, neonatal care and pediatric care.

At NYC Health + Hospitals, all facilities have dedicated women’s health programs offering comprehensive care. Our top-notch teams provide prenatal and pregnancy care, labor and delivery services, midwifery services, postpartum and newborn care. Each year, more than 20,000 New York City babies are born in one of our hospitals.

“I’m just so grateful that I have her,” Rios said.