Life at 21 Weeks: Immature Lungs and a Handful of Fragile Skin and Pain


"He was right on the borderline," said his father, Bob Dunlap. "When he was born, they immediately asked us if we wanted a priest to give him the last rites. But as soon as he cried, we said, 'Heck, this kid doesn't look like he's dying.'"

Like other tiny newborns, Brian was given oxygen and intravenous feeding. His parents were warned that the oxygen he received could damage his retinas or burn his lung tissue, and he was monitored for months.

But today, Dunlap can laugh, even though there were some rough times.

"Brian is the only one in the family not to wear glasses, and he's never had respiration problems," Dunlap said. "Looking back, he didn't pay much attention in school, and that may have had something to do with his being a preemie. But he's doing what he wants to do, and that's always been his personality."

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