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World's Smallest Baby Leaves Hospital; Scripps Spelling Bee Winners. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 31, 2019 - 08:30   ET



[08:30:35] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Now to an incredible story of survival of the world's smallest baby. She was born at just 8.6 ounces. Little Saybie, as she is being called, is believed to be the tiniest baby on record. Saybie's mother experienced severe pregnancy complications, but Saybie did not have many of the medical issues associated with micro preemies. She kept astounding her doctors with her progress. We are happy to report that Saybie is now a healthy infant and home with her family after five months in the hospital.

So joining us now two of her caregivers. We have neonatologist Dr. Paul Wozniak, and NICU nurse Devyn Kohl from Sharp Mary Birch Hospital.

It's great to see both of you this morning.

Dr. Wozniak, just explain what it was like to first see Saybie, as you guys called her, that's not her name, but Saybie after you delivered her and what your thoughts were.

DR. PAUL WOZNIAK, SHARP MARY BIRCH HOSPITAL NEONATOLOGIST: Well, I'm a -- I take care of just the babies, not the mom. So when the baby was delivered, the obstetrician, Dr. Chertcoff (ph), he handed me the baby and then there's a whole team in the delivery room for just Saybie. And I must admit, we were astonished at how small she was. It was smaller than we expected.

CAMEROTA: I mean can you give us a sense -- because, you know, I had -- I had two -- I had twins. I had two preemies, and I remember the doctor warned me and said, you know, your baby will be about the size of your husband's shoe. And I just -- and that -- and I had a bigger ,baby obviously, than Saybie. And so can you put it into context for us of what she looked like when she was first born?

WOZNIAK: Well, she was so much tinier than we expected. And, I mean, she was so small that we had to -- when we went to weigh her, we have these fancy, expensive beds. And when we went to weigh her in the delivery room, we tried several times and it wouldn't record. So we brought her down to the neonatal intensive care unit and weighed her sort of on an old fashioned scale where you put the white paper in and that and learned later that the beds cannot weigh any baby less than 300 grams.

CAMEROTA: And she was 8.6 ounces. I mean under one pound.


CAMEROTA: She weighed about the size -- about as much as an apple we're told.

And so, I mean, things have miraculously worked out, but that day when she was first handed to you, did you think she was going to survive?

WOZNIAK: Honestly, no. And I had the opportunity to talk to her mom and dad before delivery and we went through the fact that Saybie is going to have a very rough time, may not make it out of the delivery room alive. Or if she did have a good heart rate, which she did at birth, it was wonderful, and we tried to put a tube in her windpipe to help her breathe, she's so small it may not pass and then there would be nothing we could do. But, fortunately, the tube did went -- go in easily.

CAMEROTA: Devyn, what was it like to care for a baby that small?

DEVYN KOHL, SHARP MARY BIRCH HOSPITAL NICU RN: You know, it was an incredible opportunity. When I first met her I -- you know, we look in these beds and you could barely see her in there. I would say we treated her as every, you know, as we would with every micro preemie. And -- and she -- she rocked it. She did awesome. I look back at her milestones and we're just -- we're very proud as caregivers and proud of her family. And it was an honor for me and along with, you know, many others who took care of her.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, you're an angel. I mean my husband and I owe -- and we would go -- our babies were in the NICU for 32 days, and we would go in every morning and be like, who are these people? They're so much better than the rest of us because you guys are such angels on earth.

But I want to play for you what Saybie's mom had to say about all of you NICU nurses. So let's listen to this audio.



SAYBIE'S MOTHER: We just want to say, oh, my God, I love Emma, Kim, Michelle, Devyn, you know, all -- we had so many nurses, but her primary nurses were just -- they became friends. I don't want to cry. You look at all those signs they made, you know, I would come in and it's like, happy birthday, mom. It's just -- I'm so grateful for them.


[08:35:17] CAMEROTA: She wanted to express her gratitude. How does that make you feel?

KOHL: It's really awesome. I mean, we love our jobs and we're very passionate about what we do. Primary care nursing especially really builds a bond with the family and the babies and you get to know them and they do, they become your friends. And like, like, you know, her mom was saying, they -- we really do become friends. And almost like family. And the -- we call and check in on the babies and want to know how they're doing, kind of as if it was, you know, our own.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Wozniak, I don't want to paint too rosy of a picture because it can be a long road. It can be a long road ahead for a preemie and for a micro preemie. And so what are the long-term effects, do you think, physically and even mentally for Saybie?

WOZNIAK: Sure. Fortunately, Saybie did not have any of the major complications of a premature baby, especially the micro preemie. She had no bleeding into her brain. She never had any infection. She tolerated her feedings. All that is excellent.

She does have some visual problems and did have surgery on her eye, which is very, very common at 23 weekers. So she'll probably wear glasses, which isn't a major complication.

But we'll have to watch her very, very closely at her nine month follow-up appointment for these high risk babies. Every six months, up and through her primary school years, because what we're looking for is worst -- and worst visual issues, hearing, motor issues, developmental, anything that we can intervene early to make better. And sometimes we don't even see problems until the babies -- well then kids at this point -- start school and then you pick up subtle learning disabilities.


WOZNIAK: So she's going to be monitored extremely closely.

CAMEROTA: Of course she is. She'll go in for lots of visits and the early intervention is so important.

Well, Dr. Wozniak and Devyn Kohl, thank you so much for all you do and for bringing this story to us.

WOZNIAK: Well, thank you.

KOHL: Thank you so much.


BERMAN: I've got to say thank you. That was awesome. That put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

All right, can you spell history? That's what our next guests made last night when all eight, all eight of them right there were crowned spelling g -- spelling bee champions.

CAMEROTA: You can't even say spelling bee.

BERMAN: I can't even -- I can't spell spelling bee.


BERMAN: I do it with a g.

They can spell anything. They beat the dictionary last night. They're awesome. We'll talk to you all in just a second. Stay with us.


[08:41:55] BERMAN: History was made at the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night. What started with 562 spellers at the beginning of the week ended with not one but eight champions. That is easily the first time that has ever happened in the spelling bee's 92-year run. All eight co-champions join us this morning.

Congratulations to all of you.

We want to start, if we can, with a little bit of a lightning round, starting with Shruthika, who I think's on the bottom left of our screen. Will just say your name and the last word you spelled correctly.


SHRUTHIKA PADHY: Hi, name's Shruthika, and I spelled aiguillete.


ERIN HOWARD: Hi, I'm Erin, and I spelled erysipelas.

SOHUM SUKHATANKAR: I forgot the last word I spelled.

HOWARD: You forgot the last word you spelled.

SUKHATANKAR: Hi, my name is Sohum and the last word I spelled was pendeloque.

ABHIJAY KODALI: Hi, my name is Abhijay and the last word I spelled was palama.

RISHIK GANDHASRI: Hi, my name is Rishik, and the last word I spelled was auslaut.

ROHAN RAJA: Hi, my name's Rohan, and the last word I spelled was odylic.

SAKETH SUNDAR: Hi, my name is Saketh, and the last word I spelled was bougainvillea.

CHRISTOPHER SERRAO: Hi, I'm Chris, and the last word I spelled was cernuous.

BERMAN: OK, can I just say, first of all, I am zero for eight on not only not being able to spell any of those words but not ever having heard any one of those words.

CAMEROTA: Well, I haven't either.

But, Chris, I mean, so you -- let's just start with you. Christopher, you -- did you know that word that you spelled?

SERRAO: Yes, I -- yes.

CAMEROTA: How did you know that? How -- this is what I never understand about all of you brainiacs, how did you know what words to study to prepare for this?

SERRAO: I mean most of us study like language patterns and roots and then like studied additional words to see how like -- to understand them.

SUKHATANKAR: Yes, if you just study your roots and patterns and then study the irregular words, then that's really helpful.

CAMEROTA: Yes, let me tell you something, I took etymology, OK, I took etymology in high school. Somehow I don't know any of those words that you guys just described. They just -- they're in a different category.

BERMAN: Yes, they say they study roots, as one does. You know, it's just absolutely crazy.

Abhijay, if I can, I want to talk about the history here. When did you have a sense that this was going to be a different result in the spelling bee? When did you get the sense that the dictionary here was losing?

KODALI: When Dr. Bailey (ph) announced that if -- three more rounds and all of us would be octa champs. That -- that was the moment that I thought like all of us could do it. All of -- all of like the rest of these seven amazing spellers could do it.

CAMEROTA: I want to take a wide shot of all of you guys because they decided for the first time ever to give you all the winning pot of gold. At first they were going to -- what would you guys have thought if you had to split the winning prize money?

PADHY: Honestly, after this point, the -- it becomes less about the money and more about the lessons you've learned throughout the spelling bee and the great experiences and the memories you make here at bee week.

[08:45:10] CAMEROTA: All right, my kids are grounded when I get home. I'm grounding my children.

BERMAN: And all -- how do you spell magnanimous?


BERMAN: Is how I --

CAMEROTA: Even that I can't (INAUDIBLE).


You know, Christopher, were you pulling for each other? Be honest. Be totally honest with me, as you get to those last three rounds -- SERRAO: Yes. Yes.

BERMAN: And you hear that, again, the dictionary might be losing here, might be about to concede, were you hoping that all of you would emerge victorious?

SUKHATANKAR: Yes. As a speller, you know how hard everyone else has worked and you know how much they deserve to win because, you know, you're here with everyone else. You're all finalists in the national spelling bee.

CAMEROTA: So you all get $50,000. I mean that is the winning -- the winning amount of money. And instead of splitting it, they made the great and right decision that you're all going to get it because you all deserve it.

And, Abhijay, just tell us -- I mean how long have you studied for this moment in your life?

KODALI: I study like four to five hours on weekdays. But when like the competition came nearer, like, I ramped it up and like I studied as much as I could, maybe like an extra one or two hours and like ten hours on the weekends, a little more. It just depended on if I had any homework.

BERMAN: I'm barely awake five to six hours a day, let alone studying spelling.

CAMEROTA: Right, first they were slacking, the four to five hours.


CAMEROTA: Then he ramped it up when it got serious.

BERMAN: Upped it -- upped it to ten hours a day.

What's next? I mean after you are crowned national spelling bee champion, what's -- you guys should start like a road show. The eight of you should go on the road and challenge anyone at anything.

KODALI: I honestly don't know what I should do next, but I know that spelling will help me with whatever it is, like if it's science, geography, math, just depends on what I do. Spelling will -- all the lessons I've learned, it will help me throughout my life.

CAMEROTA: Christopher, what do you want to be when you grow up?

SERRAO: I'm not sure really right now, but maybe something in environmental science. I'm not really sure.

BERMAN: This is one thing I've always wondered --

SERRAO: I haven't decided.

CAMEROTA: That makes sense. You're not yet in high school. BERMAN: Do you guys judge people who can't spell? Because you do it so

well. I don't spell well, so will you -- do you essentially say like, you know, you've got to step up your game?

SERRAO: No, because different people have different strengths and weaknesses.



BERMAN: I think that's a fair statement.

All right. I have a challenge for you since you guys, again, beat the dictionary. Can you beat Alisyn Camerota?


BERMAN: My co-host here, Alisyn, she spells her name in a, I would say, unusual way. So, can you spell "Alisyn"?

KIDS TALKING TO EACH OTHER: A-l-y-s-s-o-n, like alyssum?

No, maybe --



Like the --

Well, no, that --


No, a-l-i, a-l-i.

No, like aloe.

A-l-l-y -- a-l-l-y --

No, highly unusual, slightly unusual would be a-l-i.

I say a-l-y-s-o-n.




BERMAN: I'm going to have to ask you for your final answer.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I love that you're conferring like this. OK. Who's going to say it?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll say it, a-l-y-s-s-o-n. That was our final guess.

CAMEROTA: That's a really good guess. It's just a really good guess. That is an unusual way, but it's not as unusual as my way.

BERMAN: No, unfortunately, that is incorrect.

I'm sorry, that is incorrect.

CAMEROTA: They could never get it. It's not based on any entomology. It's just like --

BERMAN: Will you spell your name. Will you spell your name.

CAMEROTA: All right, guys, it's a-l-i-s-y-n.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait, what? A-l -- what?

BERMAN: This is --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That sounds like a --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, I was closer than you.


What chemical names --


BERMAN: Oh, my gosh.

And, I'm sorry, we -- we -- they broke the dictionary, we broke the spelling bee champion with the name Alisyn Camerota.

Guys, congratulations to you. I am in awe of what you do. Thank you so much for being with us and we know we'll all be working for you one day.

KIDS: Thank you. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, guys. And now I know my name is somehow connected to a chemical.

BERMAN: I know. I know, your name can't even be --

CAMEROTA: The entomology -- that's right.

BERMAN: It can't be spelled by the best spellers in the world.

CAMEROTA: Wow, I like all the effort they put into that, though.

BERMAN: All right, up next, though, we're going to remember the incredible life of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain.


[08:53:44] BERMAN: His travels opened the eyes, minds and hearts of millions to new places, new food and new people. This week we're sharing an all-new book on the life and legacy of our friend Anthony Bourdain. This book was originally published privately as a gift for Anthony's daughter and with the family's permission we're lucky enough to share it with the world today. It's called "Anthony Bourdain: Remembered," published by Harper Collins and CNN. This book is a compilation of memories from close friends and fans alike giving us an insight into just how many people were affected by his work. Portions of the proceeds earned from the book are going to Anthony's favorite charity, the Bronx Academy of Letters, and portions are going to his daughter.

CAMEROTA: So the book is really something special. What's incredible is all of the anecdotes that are shared in the book. They were found in the social media outpouring following Tony's death. So along with notes from fans across the world, the book also has stories from his close friends, Eric Ripert, Ken Burns (ph), Questlove, Jose Andres and more. And it really does serve to remind all of us of the incredible ways that Tony changed lives.

There are great photos in here as well illustrating Anthony's travels from around the world. It illustrates all of the people and the places that he went, the people he encountered during his pretty legendary career.

[08:55:03] So there's this one photo in here, it's become pretty iconic, it's the picture of Anthony and President Barack Obama sharing a meal and a beer in Vietnam.

Of course we were all lucky enough to work with Anthony and we all have our own special memories of his time here at CNN.

BERMAN: And we're really are so excited to share our memories of Anthony and celebrate the impact of his work with this book. Anthony's birthday is coming up later in June, so his friends, chefs Eric Ripert and Jose Andres, they invite you to share your favorite memories and stories of Anthony Bourdain with the #bourdaindaytocelebrate.


JOSE ANDRES, CHEF AND FRIEND OF ANTHONY BOURDAIN: On June 25th we are celebrating Anthony Bourdain's birthday and we want all of you to celebrate Tony's life.

ERIC RIPERT: Yes, by cheering to Tony anywhere you want with anyone you want and we will be using the hash tag bourdainday and cheer to Anthony.

Cheer to you, Anthony.

ANDRES: And in Spanish this is hash tag bourdainday, ok, because you don't understand French. So, let's celebrate his life. RIPERT: Yes. Cheers.

ANDRES: Happy birthday, Tony.

RIPERT: Cheers. Happy birthday, Tony.


BERMAN: That's the way Anthony would have want it for sure. For sure.

CAMEROTA: Why didn't they give us those to celebrate?

BERMAN: Exactly.

CAMEROTA: Yes, it's a beautiful book and we highly recommend it to everybody.

All right, Dow futures are pointing to a rough day on Wall Street after President Trump's latest tariff threats. So our coverage picks up right after this break.