General Grant

GrantAge: 19
Weight at Birth: 1 lb. 14 oz
Weeks Gestation: 26 1/2
Time spent in the NICU: 12 weeks

My Preemie Power Story:

Preemie Power Story General Grant was a fighter from the start. Born at just over 26 weeks, this “wimpy white boy” was given a 50/50 chance of making it by the doctors. If he made it, they said he would face many challenges. His first challenge was to have the nurses tie him down so he would not extubate himself. He spent 7 weeks on a ventilator. They had trouble keeping his blood pressure steady. We were called 3 times to the hospital because they thought things looked bleak and they did not know if he would make it through the night. He was fed through a tube for 2 months. Then came the ROP study. They found that his retinopathy looked pretty bad, and even with laser and cryosurgery, maybe a 50% chance that he would not see. He had this surgery when he was just under 3 pounds.

After 12 weeks, he finally came home, only to go back two weeks later to have surgery on one of his hernias. A year later, he (we) spent a week in a tented metal crib fighting a respiratory virus.

Lots of early intervention programs. Years of follow-up on his eyes and some other work on social and attention issues.

General Grant has always strived to be a leader. He was focused on his goal of going into the military, and then politics. Planning on running for President in 2044.

Here is a picture of “General Grant” as the Battalion Commander of his High School JROTC unit. He has interned for a U.S. Congressman, run cross-country, gone to Boy’s State, had his JROTC leadership group finish 2nd in the nation in competition, received two nominations to Westpoint, gone on mission trips overseas, and has excelled beyond any dreams I could have imagined.

I always read how many preemies are exceptional, and I can certainly attest to that. I am so thankful that I “had” to stay home with him and could not return to work. The time I was able to spend with this exceptional person makes me proud to say that I was the mother of a preemie.

I am so thankful to those people dedicated to caring for these babies, those whose lives are dedicated to research to help them (how far they have come in 19 years!), and to those who help work with these children as they develop. I have always tried to instill in Grant a gratefulness to God, the Doctors and Nurses, and those who have made great strides in helping preemies. That is why he was such a good fund-raiser for the MOD when I ran a campaign at my job.

Oh, and by the way, he doesn’t even need glasses!
Power to the Preemies and those who love them!!

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