Baby born with less than 1 percent chance of survival defies all odds

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS — For one Indiana family, their list of what they’re thankful for is extra long this year after they were told their son had less than a 1 percent chance of survival.

Indianapolis couple Daniel Breyts and Jess Novac were told by doctors in Illinois to start planning the funeral for their son Rowan after he was born three months early.

“It was a hard balance between I wanted him to survive, but I was a realistic person, they told me he was going to die. I just didn’t want him in any pain and drag it out at that point,” Rowan’s mother Jess told WXIN.

For two months, the couple waited for the day they hoped would never come.

Meanwhile, Rowan continued suffer from Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), a disease that attacked his intestines.

Until one day, that is, when the two decided to get a second opinion from doctors at Riley Hospital for Children.

Rowan was brought by helicopter to Riley the day his case was accepted and just four days later, he was taken into surgery.

“She told me they saw a lot of pink viable intestine which was the exact opposite of what we had been told," explained Rowan’s father Daniel.

After a 209-day stay in the NICU at Riley Hospital, Rowan was able to leave the hospital for the first time in his life.

“Seeing him myself and knowing where he came from as far as how small he was and the issues that he had, in my heart he is a miracle. He’s an honest-to-God miracle,” Breyts said.

Rowan now weights 13 pounds 9 ounces and is continuing to get bigger and healthier with each day.


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.