Isabella D. ~ Super Hero Alias: Wonder Bella
Age: 2 years old
Weight at Birth: 1lb 11oz
Weeks Gestation: 24 weeks
Time in the NICU: 99 days
Diagnosis, complications, surgeries?
Mom went into preterm labor unexpectedly. Isabella had many blood transfusions, was on a ventilator for 7 weeks, had a ruptured small intestine requiring a bowel resectioning and later reanastomosis, PDA ligation, and ROP laser surgery. Toward the end of her stay, she had difficulty flushing bilirubin and bladder regurgitation.
Why should your children be recognized as “Preemies of the Year”?
After a bowel resectioning, PDA ligation, ROP laser surgery, a bowel reanastomosis, and other residual complications, totaling 99 days in the NICU, Isabella came home from the hospital to start her life with her family. Although life was not normal, and to this day isn’t completely normal, she resiliently radiated a personality of determination and fighting spirit. That same spirit has helped her overcome 3 hospitalizations in the PICU for bowel motility and asthma. Our micropreemie has soared through her development and surpassed so many hurdles. She is a blessed child and we are fortunate parents to have a daughter whose life could be drastically different. Many micro-preemies’ physical and mental states turn out completely different all because of the slightest of margins in medical care and preventive care. We are eternally grateful to our NICU family and their team of medical professionals. Although Isabella went through many awful days and nights, after two and a half joyous years of constant smiles and laughs, we continuously reminisce about our family’s NICU experience.
At just shy of 3 years of age and 2 years of a variety of therapy, our little girl who has over come so much in her short life, is doing tremendous feats:
1. Speaking and singing in full legible sentences.
2. Counting to 50.
3. Identifying animals, shapes, colors and recognizing them all by name in English and Spanish.
4. Reading any beginner book you hand her…”Your Baby Can Read” really worked for her.
5. After starting to walk at 19 months and finally climbing steps by 24 months, she is now running, jumping, taking tumbling and dance classes.
Each day she amazes us and lights up our lives. So here’s to you, Wonder Bella…to one spectacular, courageous, determined, independent, loving and miraculous child. WE LOVE YOU!
Using three or more typical characteristics of a Super Hero, please describe your children.
Super-stamina – no matter what event, sickness, or obstacle comes her way, Wonder Bella is able to maintain stamina to overcome any difficult situation with persistence.
Super-strength – with strong muscles and internal organs, this preemie super hero can defeat the toughest of illnesses or mind tricks presented by any foe of any shape or size.
Cunning – she can think fast on her feet to solve a puzzle, read a book or get away from her little brother.
What advice do you have for future NICU parents?
Watch your baby closely, take care of yourself, get plenty of rest when you can, pump as much liquid gold as possible and read to your baby often.
Describe how Hand to Hold’s services are meaningful to you and future families. What kind of support would have helped you most during your journey?
An organization of this nature directly involved with a NICU provides a support system and guide to parents that the majority of NICUs do not have. I was fortunate to have a friend by my side that had gone through the same thing. However, most parents do not. And going beyond the NICU is so critical as parents venture out into the world with a baby that is often so different for the first couple of years than normal newborns. Hand To Hold is a brilliant place to get everything that a NICU family needs.