Indianapolis Miracle Baby Headed Home after 460 Days in NICU
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After arriving in this world in December 2020, prematurely born Kendell Jurnakins can finally go home with his family after 15 months in the NICU.

Kendall was born at 25 weeks gestation only weighing 15 ounces, falling just .2 pounds short of the record for premature babies. Doctors say he was so small he could fit in the palm of a hand. At birth, he was only given a 50 to 60 percent chance of living

His mother Sparkles Jurnakins had an emergency C-section due to high blood pressure.

To give him a chance at a full healthy life, Kendall underwent a tracheostomy and was placed on a ventilator. 

The baby spent 460 days in the NICU of an Indianapolis hospital. 

“I just was scared my baby wasn’t gonna make it,” Sparkle Jurnakins said in a Good Morning America interview. 

Jurnakins spoke about the fear she had in through the entire process. Unfortunately, she suffered from respiratory distress syndrome and chronic lung disease after the birth of her son.

As if there wasn’t enough stress to go around, Jurankins contracted COVID-19 last summer while her son was eight months old. The virus put her in a coma from August to October. She thought Kendall would not recognize her, but she said he stared at her the whole time when they were reunited. 

Sparkle Jurnakins has on a face mask as she holds her newborn son Kendall.
Sparkle Jurnakins with her newborn son Kendall. Photo:
Baby Kendall Jurnakins gets a parade at the Indianapolis hospital, where he spent 460 days in the NICU after being born at 25 weeks. Photo: Good Morning America

Kendall will have to use a tracheostomy (trach) tube while at home, which will help him breathe and eat. All the healthcare professionals and doctors that spent the last year and a half with this miracle baby were delighted that he reached his NICU “graduation.”

“This moment, actually, I have no words,” said Kendall’s hospital’s NICU Medical Director Dr. Taha Ben Saad. “It’s such a reward for all of us. We’ve waited for this day for a long time and it’s such a reward. And then after all those long days and long nights, this is the best day for us. We forget everything else.”

Now Kendall gets to experience the love and joy of a full family, which includes a big brother and big sister waiting to spend time with him.