Castro Valley

Castro Valley Baby Born at 23 Weeks Overcomes Medical Odds

Having a premature baby is something no one wants or expect, a difficult situation that a couple from Castro Valley went through with their baby Valentina.

Their baby was born at 23 weeks, weighing just over a pound and against all odds, she continued to fight for her life.

"The doctors told us that if she came before 23 weeks, they wouldn't be able to do anything," said Valentina's father.

Gabriela Alvarado and Jesus Barraza said they arrived at the hospital at 22 weeks gestation, and thanks to medical intervention, they managed to keep the baby in Alvarado's womb for a few more days. 

She was born on Sep. 4, 2021, weighing 1 pound 4 ounces -- requiring special medical care in a neonatal intensive care unit.

“They had to put her on a machine, three different machines, to breathe but with oxygen,” Barraza said. "There were times when she needed 100% oxygen from the machine, she was surviving on just the machine."

They said the first few months were the most difficult due to various medical complications.

“Those first two months they had to resuscitate her three times,” Barraza said.

Fortunately, over time, Valentina grew stronger. Her organs were functioning on their own, so a week before her 5-month birthday, Barraza and Alvarado received the news that Valentina could go home with them.

"All that week, we just looked forward to the day," Barraza said.

The parents said that the support received from family, friends and doctors helped them push through with little Valentina.

“We were very lucky with the doctors and nurses who took such good care of her and loved her so much,” Alvarado said. “We have a lot, a lot, a lot of love. And she has a lot of love. I think she felt all the love they gave her and that's why she pulled through and she recovered as well as she has recovered."

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