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What Was I Made For? My story of Resilience and Survival as a Micro Preemie



Micro preemie in incubator

Ever since I can remember, I've asked myself a deep question: 'What was I made for?' Hi, my name is Christina Gagnon, and I am a proud survivor, born as a micro-preemie. At 25 weeks, weighing just 1 lb. 8 oz., I faced less than a 14% chance of survival, a figure that didn't even consider the quality of life. This was on October 30th, 1986, a challenging start due to Placenta Abruptio, a condition where there's a hole in the placenta.


I have faced and overcome some of the most severe diseases and infections that can challenge a micro-preemie after birth. My journey has included battling NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis) three times, Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, enduring 44 instances of collapsed lungs, and Retinopathy of Prematurity, which led to retinal detachment and blindness. I lost all my toes on my left foot due to gangrene. There were times I nearly lost my life, but something within me pushed me to exceed expectations. This resilience was fueled by three key sources: the unwavering love and support of my parents, their incredible patience, and the encouragement from my relatives and the dedicated NICU staff.


As a child, growing up, I was angry and confused. I knew within myself that I was different, always going to doctor appointments. Doctors would come right to my face and inspect me. I'd always be injected with multiple shots of some kind of medicine, needing some sort of bloodwork done, or get easily sick with something, making it tough to be at school. A lot of kids would mock me because of my disability of my foot or scar ( that'll come into the next post!)

Since the age of 12, I've had a dream to write my memoir, and five years ago, I started that journey. Now, my book is in the editing process. It's a narrative from the perspective of a former micro-preemie, like myself. I was motivated to break new ground, aware that there are few books out there written by those who have truly endured the NICU experience – us, the preemies. I aimed to change that narrative. No longer wanting to remain hidden or feel embarrassed about my identity, I chose to embrace and share my story.


The reason I believe I was made is clear to me now: to endure those horrific, terrifying challenges, to survive them, and to share my story with the world. It shows that even in the darkest times, there is always a glimmer of light.


I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the month, until the next post, I hope to see you soon!


Christina-


You can find me on Instagram- @micropreemiewarrior



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