The World Day of the Premature Baby, which occurs every year on November 17, invites reflection not only on the testimonies of parents, but also on the enormous efforts that, over the years, have been made to give the same opportunities to premature babies of a newborn born complete. And, despite the Covid-19 lockdown this year affected both pregnancies and premature births, history and literature tell us about famous people who were born prematurely and not only have they recovered, but they have also made a difference in a diverse universe of sectors. More and more, over the years and also thanks to the institution of the Charter of the rights of premature babies, efforts have been made to equalize the experience of newborns arriving in the pre-term world and to give them the same opportunities as other children. Resilience, supported by medical progress, is the strength of premature babies. Here are those who, despite being born early, have made prematurity a super power.
Among the famous people who were born premature, there are many personalities from the world of culture, politics and art. People who, despite being born early, have lived a full and memorable life. Here’s who I am:
The “Isn’t she lovely” singer has a story that deserves to be told. Because it is an example of how a disability due to premature birth – he was suffering from retinopathy from birth – did not get in the way of a career that is still remembered today as one of the most incredible in the history of music.
The father of the Theory of Relativity was born in 1879 in a period in which premature babies were not in the least taken into consideration, years in which medicine did not push to save and support them. With his incredible willpower and ingenuity Einstein made it alone. As the Neonatal Trust reports, even Albert Einstein’s mother was troubled by the baby, who was born before its time, at birth. And not only that: his parents were immediately concerned with the intellectual development of their son, who at first showed up with a slight delay in language. At 9, however, he had recovered so well that he was first in his class. He was already, potentially, a true genius.
Perhaps one of Britain’s most famous Prime Ministers, Sir Churchill is one of the excellent premature babies. His mother gave birth to him two months ahead of his due date.
Sir Isaac Newton
Another great in science, born premature in a period in which arriving ahead of time was considered a certain sentence of death. And in fact on little Isaac, at birth, there was little hope. With incredible strength he not only managed to overcome the initial difficulties but also to recover and overcome his peers, remaining in history as the greatest mathematician of all time.
Writer Mark Twain, like Churchill, was also born two months early in 1835. Despite this, his works are still recognized as the greatest and most unforgettable in American literature.
Picasso is one of the most loved and famous contemporary artists of all time and he too was born premature. Born in Malaga in 1881 ahead of time and deemed dead by the midwife, he was reanimated by a relative fortunately present at the birth: an attention that guaranteed him a long and incredible life.
The podcast: how to cope with premature birth?
Also listen to the podcast with Dr. Sarah Gangi’s answer to the question: how to deal with premature birth?
Together with Professor Mario De Curtis he wrote the book “Little babies – Stories of newborns in Italy today” (The third). Amazing and intense real-life stories that teach us how courageously and lovingly mothers, fathers, doctors and nurses face the challenge of embracing each new life, even in difficult conditions, in a neonatal intensive care unit. In the chapters that make up the book, every single story becomes an opportunity for a medical study and for a reflection on human, social, bioethical and legislative issues.