Metro’s Smallest Baby: A Living Miracle

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – The odds were against her from the day she was born, but a Northeast Ohio girl keeps proving that she’s a medical miracle.

“They told me they didn't know if she was going to make it or not, because they said a lot of babies her size don't survive,” said Marie Moore.  In 1997, Marie delivered her daughter, Jataija, 15-weeks early at MetroHealth Medical Center.  Taija, as she’s called, weighed as much as a 12-ounce soda can and she’s the smallest baby born at the hospital to survive.

“When I did get a chance to hold her, I was just so scared because she was so little and I ain't never had no preemie before, all my kids was 7, 8, 9-pound babies,” said Marie.

“I'm a miracle baby,” said Taija, who has overcome all kinds of health and developmental complications, but she still has a feeding tube that’s about to be removed.  “You don't want a tube in your stomach, if you go swimming it's there, if you go out on dates, it's there,” said Ann Forster, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at MetroHealth.

“There are so many other complications and with Jataija, really, her feeding tube is that last big hurdle that -- I think -- she's working on right now,” said Registered Dietician Melina Sinesi.

“I can't wait to get it out,” said Taija, who starts high school next fall and plans to stay active in extracurricular activities, without a tube in her stomach and just in time for her 15th birthday.  “At school, I like basketball and I like to go to art to draw.”

“She's very quiet, very quiet girl, she doesn't say much but her smile is worth a billion words,” said Ann Forster from Metro, where approximately 3,000 babies are born each year.

According to her mom, Taija wouldn’t be doing so well without the hospital’s continued support.