Baby Born Prematurely Aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship: ‘He's a Miracle'

The baby boy, born at a little over five months, is recovering at Niklaus Children's Hospital

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A mother who gave birth to a premature baby while aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise this week is doing well and under medical care along with her newborn, said a South Florida doctor who assisted with the birth.

Neonatologist Dr. Jorge Perez said the 2-pound baby boy was born at a little over five months on board the Jewel of the Seas.

"He's a miracle," he said.

Royal Caribbean officials said the mother didn't feel well on the cruise and decided to seek medical attention. The medical team on board did a medical examination and determined she was in active labor.

Shortly after, Dr. Perez said he got a call on Tuesday about the baby and his mom, whom he identified as Patrina Ross from Melbourne. Over the phone, he assisted to stabilize the baby delivered by a doctor on the ship.

Dr. Perez said he instructed the doctor on board to clear the baby's airway and intubate him. They also needed to regulate his temperature.

The staff on board got saran wrap from the kitchen to keep the baby warm and managed to use adult-size tools to help his breathing.

Royal Caribbean's policy can not accept guests who are more than 23 weeks pregnant, but their onboard medical teams are trained to deal with any emergency, including birth at sea. Cruiseline officials say births at sea have happened before, but never for a baby this small.

"As such, the medical facilities have ventilators, capacities to intubate, and to monitor and to respond to any emergency of any person," Dr. Perez said.

According to Dr. Perez, a baby that small can fit in the palm of his hand and can face multiple issues, but he survived and made it to the next port of call, Jamaica.

The mother and baby are now under medical care at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, where he's expected to recover well.

Royal Caribbean officials said the baby is an American citizen since his mom is American, even though he was born at sea.

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