The Florio Family

Blythedale Children's Hospital

'Miracle Baby' Born At 11 Ounces Defies The Odds

April 25, 2019 - 11:17 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- This Sunday, thousands will take to the streets with the March of Dimes to "March for Babies," which raises millions of dollars to end infant prematurity and death.

WCBS 880's Marla Diamond has the story of "miracle baby" Connor Florio, who is believed to be the smallest baby in the United States ever to survive outside the womb.

When Connor was born weighing just 11 ounces, the doctors at Westchester Medical Center told his parents he may not survive.

"This baby was born at 26 weeks gestational age, but he had the weight of a 20-week baby with only 310 grams or 11 ounces," said neonatologist Dr. Dennis Davidson, chief of the infant and toddler unit at Blythedale Children's Hospital, where Connor was transferred to from the neonatal intensive care unit when he was five months old and six pounds.

Davidson oversaw Connor's care.

"He required ventilatory support for about 70 days," Davidson said.

The tube was the size of a coffee straw. 

"To me he just looked like a normal baby. I guess I kind of saw past the size and the wires and everything. To me he just looked like a normal baby, just very small," mom Jamie Florio said.

The Florios spent nine months at their son's incubator. There were several setbacks but there were also some laughs.

Mom and dad, John, liked to dress him up.

"I think it started with Halloween and he was too small for any costumes in the NICU so we went to Build-A-Bear and we got some costumes for him there and they fit him perfectly," Jamie said.

"They were actually a little big," John said. 

"It was so much fun. We dressed him up as Superman and a doctor," Jamie said. 

For President's Day, Connor was a mini-Abraham Lincoln.

"It kind of takes your mind off being away from family and being in the hospital during the holidays," Jamie said.

Connor finally left for home in Connecticut on April 8, weighing nearly 11 pounds -- a miracle of modern medicine.

"By the time he was going home this finicky little kid was smiling at you, he was playful, he would wiggle out of his nasal cannula oxygen," Dr. Davidson said.

"We're leaving with a really healthy child, which I didn't know was going to be possible, so I'm just really grateful and relieved," Jamie said.