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'Quite the Survivor': Micro-Preemie Given Only 10% Chance of Survival Celebrates First Birthday

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A Texas micro-preemie, who weighed just 1 pound and 5 ounces the day he was born, celebrated his first birthday on Tuesday, defying predictions of doctors who only gave him a 10 percent chance of survival.

Amandi Omokore-Allen defied all odds after spending 155 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after his birth. 

"He was under a pound-and-a-half and 23 weeks and two days," Samantha Smith, a neonatal nurse practitioner at Pediatrix Neonatology of Texas and Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin, told Fox News.

Amandi was only slightly more than halfway through the pregnancy, which is typically 40 weeks. 

"So he was kind of on the edge of viability, which is about 22 weeks," Smith said. 

His parents, Tolulope Omokore and Patrick Allen, were expecting twin boys, last May. 

But his mother, Omokore, began to experience a complication known as premature rupture of membranes, in which the amniotic sac breaks open and slowly begins leaking.

She lost Amandi's brother shortly afterward.  

"There were a lot of emotions," Omokore shared. "The doctors told us, 'Hey, you're going to be here until you give birth' — which we hoped would be May."

Omokore received medications to help delay labor for Amandi, but he was born on January 10.
"It was a very bittersweet moment," she continued. 

"Amandi was quite ill in the beginning," Pediatrix Neonatology of Texas told KXAN-TV. "Initially, he was on a ventilator, and he had pneumothorax, requiring a chest tube. He also had some feeding intolerance in need of continuous gavage feeds. He developed pneumonia about six weeks in and he had a pulmonary hemorrhage."

"Those are the moments, the stuff that got to me," Omokore told Austin American Statesman. Allen would encourage, "Babe, have faith," she said.

He spent about five months receiving care at that facility and each day he grew stronger and stronger. 

"He's quite the survivor," Smith said.

By June 14, Amandi reached all his milestones to "graduate" from the NICU.

"Everyone was clapping and crying," Omokore said. "I was hugging everyone."

Amandi now weighs 20 pounds, 15 ounces, and likes to crawl backward. 

"He's in the 43rd percentile in weight," Omokore said. "The pulmonologist was showing me his chart — and just to think, he started at that 1-pound mark."

"Looking at him, one would never imagine he came into the world so tiny and ill," Pediatrix said.

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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.