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A miracle baby who was born 16 weeks early and in route to the hospital returned to Catholic Health Services’s St. Joseph Hospital to meet the medical staff that saved her life. Farmingdale residents Maria and Andrew Petti welcomed Mikayla Jane Petti to the world on February 15, 2020 at just 24 weeks—weighing 1lb 8oz and measuring 12.5 inches long. Maria’s due date was May 31.
The Pettis only made it a few blocks away from their home when Mikayla decided to make her way into Maria’s pant leg. At this point the Pettis decided to drive to the nearest hospital (St. Joseph Hospital.) Upon their arrival, Dr. John Mathew, St. Joseph Hospital’s Director of Emergency Medicine, (while Maria was still in the car) fully removed Mikayla from Maria’s pant leg, he clamped and cut the umbilical cord, and took Mikayla into the resuscitation bay where he was able to stimulate her until she was transferred to the NICU at North Shore University Hospital. According to Dr. Mathew, at birth Mikayla was not breathing well and her heart rate was not within normal range.

Maria Petti said, “It wasn’t until later we found out how much of a miracle it was that Dr. Mathew was able to keep Mikayla alive. He had to bag her manually to provide her with oxygen. He did this for over an hour, while giving her enough air to sustain life, at the same time as not giving too much air and blowing her tiny paper-thin lungs.”

When the transport team from North Shore University Hospital’s NICU arrived at St. Joe’s they were able to intubate Mikayla and put her on life support. Mikayla and Maria were then both transferred to the Manhasset hospital where Mikayla spent the first 122 days of her life.

Today, Mikayla is thriving and a happy and healthy 6-month-old baby girl.

Dr. Mathew with Mikayla Petti
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