KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Chances are, you know someone with a child born prematurely. On Sunday for World Prematurity Day, two East Tennessee families shared their premature birth experiences with 6 News.
Trew Wilson weighed just two pounds when he was born more than three months early. The University of Tennessee Medical Center doctors told his mom Michelle that he had a 2 percent chance of survival.
"I was terrified," Michelle Wilson said.
But after three months in the hospital, he defied the odds and came home.
"He is my miracle baby," Wilson said.
Now 19, Trew has lifelong side effects from being born premature, including being deaf and having poor eyesight. But Michelle says she's just thankful he's alive.
"Never give up hope that your child can make it. It does seem hopeless at times when you see their frail little bodies there, but there is hope," Wilson said.
Kendra and Blake Raper from Sweetwater also know what it's like to have a premature baby. Their son Bentley was born nearly two months early.
"It was very scary. It was traumatizing," Kendra Wilson said.
Kendra says her pregnancy was going great at first.
"We didn't have any medical issues. No history of it on either side. It was just so unexpected," Raper said.
Despite his premature birth, Bentley weighed about six pounds.
"He was a big boy and we're thankful for that because that helped him," Raper said.
He's now a healthy and happy toddler.
"It does come to an end, and there's a whole new world outside of the NICU when you get your baby home," Raper said.
According to the March of Dimes, some of the more common problems associated with premature births include a low birth weight, jaundice and the babies are more prone to infections. They usually require an extended hospital stay and more medical check ups as they grow.
There are about 15 million babies born prematurely every year, and about one million don't survive.