Micro-Premie Blasts "Viability-Equals-Value" Myth

by C.J.Williams, Director of Community Engagement


"I don't think my baby is the miracle baby," she said. "I think they all are miracle babies. There is just no way around it. She is just Lyla."

If I could put it any more succinctly than Lyla's mother, I would. But the mom of barely 21-week old Lyla Stensrud has summed up the reality of a single human life's value in the way only a mother can. 

Every child is a miracle. What is shocking is that we have laws that allow abortionists to murder miracles daily in our nation. What is shocking is that we have based our respect for these vulnerable lives on the arbitrary line of post-birth ability to survive.


A little over four years ago, only halfway through her pregnancy, Courtney Stensrud was told Lyla Jean was on her way. What a shock for her doctor as well!

Dr. Ahmad at that point had to make a decision. Nowhere in the world do hospitals offer resuscitation at such a young age. "You don't expect you're the one that is going to be delivering a baby at 21 weeks, because [the] baby is supposed to be there [in the womb] until 40 weeks."

But rather than go with the status-quo, Dr. Ahmad decided he would try to offer resuscitation anyway  This had never been done before. A child at that age is simply so small, medical instruments are too large and the child too fragile.

He erred on the side of fighting for Lyla. For the miracle. 

Life is always a fight. But sometimes to fight is to push the bounds of belief, and hold onto miracle of a human being even at the brink of the possible. 

This is the kind of trailblazing act that creates new therapies, marks history, and defines our most excellent accomplishments in human history -- and in medical innovation. 

In this case, it was a decision that let Lyla Jean leap into the world at 21 weeks, and live in today at 4 years old and counting.

Huzzah! For doctors like this. Viability is arbitrary. Decisions to push the bounds of medical intervention to save rather than abandon human lives, are not. May we always make this kind of decision for our fellow human beings.


"She has amazed us up to this point with everything she has done. She is our little rock star."

-Courtney Stensrud

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