She’s come so far. Although Michelle Duggar managed to give birth to 19 children, her last and youngest child, Josie Duggar, was her most difficult delivery. Josie has suffered from many health problems, and many 19 Kids and Counting fans may be wondering how the littlest Duggar is doing today and if she’s doing better. They should be happy to hear that Josie, now 10, is happy, healthy and thriving!
The Duggar family wrote via Instagram on December 10, 2018, “Josie was born on December 10, 2009, at 25 1/2 weeks gestation and weighed 1 pound 6 ounces. Today is a huge milestone for her, she is a healthy, happy 9-year old that is full of energy.” They added, “We are so thankful for everyone’s prayers and all of the doctors and nurses at Arkansas Children’s Hospital that saved her life. That was the most difficult time in our family’s life, but by God’s grace Josie and our whole family made it through!”
It’s hard to believe so much time has passed since Josie’s birth was featured on the TLC series! Here’s a complete rundown of everything we know about the youngest Duggar daughter and how she’s doing nowadays:
She was born prematurely.
Josie was born at only 25 weeks into Michelle’s pregnancy — three and a half months premature. Because Michelle suffered from preeclampsia — which is high blood pressure during pregnancy — she had to have an emergency C-section to save both her and her baby’s life.
“Oh, the terror that went through my heart when they said this baby has to be delivered in 30 minutes. I thought, ‘This baby is too small to live,'” Michelle said back in 2010. “I was terrified. I cried out to God to have mercy on my baby and me. This was too soon for this baby.”
Although Josie was a “micro-preemie” who was in NICU for six months after her birth and suffered from health complications like “bowel perforation,” the little baby powered through, got stronger, and was finally able to come home, prompting her family to call her a “miracle.”
“[When she was born] her skin was see-through,” Michelle said. “She only had two layers of skin. It was transparent. I do not take for granted this precious life that we have here. She’s a miracle that could have gone in either direction.”
In 2014, she suffered a scary seizure.
Because Josie was a micro-preemie, she’s susceptible to long-term health difficulties, like cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness or learning disabilities, according to ABC News. That point was made clear back in 2014 when the little girl, who was five years old at the time, suffered a scary seizure that took place right in front of 19 Kids and Counting cameras. The situation was so serious, even the show’s director, Scott Enlow, stepped in to assist a terrified Jana Duggar, who was in tears as she held Josie’s body.
Although the whole scene looked frightening, Michelle later explained that Josie often suffered from seizures as a side effect. “One of the little glitches for Josie is that if she runs a fever she does have a tendency to have febrile seizures,” Michelle explained.
“All of Josie’s seizures have happened around a fever – normally an ear infection,” Josie’s father, Jim Bob Duggar, added during an aftershow special. “Typically, children will outgrow these by the time they’re 10. So, hopefully, she will just get bigger and stronger and outgrow it.”
Here’s what Josie Duggar looks like now in 2019.
Today, Josie is a healthy girl who’s finally hit double digits. Can you believe the girl above is the same tiny premature baby we were first introduced to?
These days, Josie hangs out with her extended family and pops up in a lot of the updates they share with their social media followers. For instance, when the family went to Silver Dollar City in late November, the youngest Duggar daughter was shown gleefully watching her sister Jordyn enjoy an amusement ride. She also got to visit her big sis Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo in California in October!
Outside of just being a kid and going on all these trips with her family, Josie also has a bit of a “career” as a singer. She’s featured on the “Happy Heart” album, along with her sisters Jordyn, 10, Jennifer and Johannah and their niece Mackynzie Duggar.
Fans think she’s Michelle’s “favorite.”
Although we’re sure Michelle and Jim Bob love all their 19 children equally, it is probably a little hard to give them the individual attention they all need or get to know each one on a deeper level. Because of Josie’s tumultuous first year, she has spent more time with Michelle than a lot of her siblings, prompting fans to think that she’s the “favorite.”
Fans have also pointed out that she appears to get away with behavior the other kids don’t get away with, like licking the frosting off of a wedding cake or having temper tantrums in public. However, this is all speculation, and Josie herself appears to be like the average child. Here’s hoping she continues to grow up healthy!