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When their baby was born too soon, weighing just 1 pound, 4 ounces, Kelley Benham 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 it was, did they have the strength to let her go?

  • PART ONE
    Lost and found
    When a baby is born at the edge of viability, which is the greater act of love: to save her, or to say goodbye?
  • Photo gallery

  • PART TWO
    The zero zone
    In a neverland of sick babies, the NICU is a place where there is no future or past. Every moment is a fight for existence.
  • Photo gallery

Never let go: The story of a micro preemie
 

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Micro preemie parents decide:
Fight or let go of their premature baby?

Premature babies born at the edge of viability force us to debate the most difficult questions in medicine and in life. After just 23 weeks of pregnancy, Kelley Benham found herself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at All Children's Hospital with a daughter born so early neonatologist doctors would call her a "micro preemie." New technologies can sometimes keep micro preemies alive, but many end up disabled, some catastrophically so. Whether to provide care to these infants is one of the fundamental controversies in neonatology. This is the story of how Benham and her husband, Tom French, made the difficult choice: Fight for the life of their micro preemie baby or let her go?