She was born four months early, at just 23 weeks of gestation. Her arrival strained the limits of what is possible and what is right.
Babies born so early look like tiny, gasping aliens. Their eyes are fused shut. Their skin is so translucent you can see their hearts flicker. The newest and most aggressive treatments can sometimes save them, but 80 percent will die or end up disabled.
In April 2011, Kelley Benham's baby was born into this awful calculus. She and her husband faced impossible questions. Was the dream of a healthy baby too much to hope for, the cost of saving her too high? And if so, did they have the strength to let her go?
Benham, a prize-winning writer and editor, tells her story in a three-part series. Read "Never Let Go" beginning Friday on tampabay.com and Sunday in the Tampa Bay Times.