Remarkable Reese

  • ReeseAge: 10 months
  • Weight at Birth: 1 pound, 6 ounces
  • Weeks Gestation: 23
  • Time spent in the NICU: 97 days

Super Hero Characteristics: Resilient, Strong, Brave, Energetic, Tenacious

My Preemie Power Story:

I went in for my 24 week appointment at 23 weeks, 3 days. My physician found my cervix to be opened and immediately sent me to the closest hospital with a NICU. I was given magnesium for 3 days, but Reese was ready to enter the world the day after Thanksgiving last year at just 23 weeks, 6 days gestation. She weighed 630 grams. She spent 97 days in the NICU but still came home 15 days before my due date. We had our share of problems while in the NICU, PDA ligation, 7 transfusions, mild ROP. She came home on oxygen for just a few weeks and has not looked back! She is growing well and is meeting or ahead of all of her milestones for her adjusted age of 6 months. She is such a fighter and we couldn’t be more proud to be her parents.

Mighty Micah

MicahAge: 14 months
Weight at Birth: 2 lbs 4 oz
Weeks Gestation: 26 weeks
Time spent in the NICU: 105 days

My Preemie Power Story:

On July 27 of 2012, I was admitted into labor and delivery at 25w 5d because I was dilated to 2cm and 80% effaced. Was I really going into labor? I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. My pregnancy had been perfect up to this point. I always imagined being whisked up to the hospital with a big grin on my face, bags packed, and anxious to see my chubby little pink baby boy. This was not the case. As I lay in a hospital bed, doped up on magnesium to stop the contractions, I prayed. I prayed hard. I begged God to please let my baby stay in. The goal was 34 weeks…that was still another 8.5 weeks away. They told me I had to stay at the hospital on bed rest because if I were at home, we would never make it in time back to the hospital once he started coming. I mentally prepared myself to live in the hospital for 2 months. You can do ANYTHING for your baby. God had bigger plans.

Four days later on July 31st, Micah Emory was born at 2lbs 14.25 inches long. This was not the joyful moment I expected. I was terrified. I had never seen a baby so tiny and fragile in my entire life. I was in shock. Would he live? Would he be ok? What would the next few months have in store for him? What would his life have in store for him? All these questions raced through my mind. Something came over me. God came over me and I had peace; a peace I can’t explain. I knew that this journey ahead for Micah, Royce, and I would not be easy, but I trusted God to see us through. I will walk by faith even when I cannot see. Micah dropped down below 2lbs and was so tiny and underdeveloped. He depended on oxygen and other high-tech equipment to live. Still, I had faith. Micah went through numerous tests, X-rays, PICC lines, and countless IV’s. Still, I had faith. He underwent PDA ligation at 4 weeks old (at 2lbs). Still, I had faith. He had many blood transfusions, a couple of infections, a tumor on his brain (that resolved itself!), and we were told that he had stage 3/4 ROP. The bleeding in his eyes was very severe. It had already affected his eyesight. I was absolutely terrified. Would my baby be blind? Would he see the ocean, play baseball, see my face? Still, many questions raced trough my mind. But still, I had faith. Micah underwent a new procedure that was to stop the bleeding in his eyes and still allow the good vessels to grow. Micah was the first baby at the hospital he was at to ever have this procedure done. After 105 days in the NICU, our sweet Micah finally came home! That was the BEST day of our lives! When Micah was 9.5 months old, we got great news from his retinologist that his eyes are finally fully developed! Thank you, God! He has had several follow up appointments for his heart, kidneys, eyes, and urology and we have gotten nothing but great reports! Micah is now a happy and healthy boy and so full of life!

We never would have made it through without God, a team of doctors and nurses that cared for Micah, and for our family, friends, and complete strangers who prayed so diligently for miracles to happen.

Micah is a sweet reminder of how precious is and how good God is.

Super Hero Characteristics:

Mighty, Strong, Fighter

Miracle Max

MaxAge: 11 months
Weight at Birth: 645 grams
Weeks Gestation: 25 3/7
Time spent in the NICU: 112 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Max came suddenly into our lives after mommy suffered from severe sudden onset eclampsia (seizures) while driving home with daddy. Though we didn’t know it at the time, Max was sure to inherit his daddy’s super powers. Max’s daddy saved both Max and his mommy that night by driving quickly to the hospital while mommy was having a grand mal seizure in the passenger seat of their car. Max was born via emergent c-section and while his mommy and daddy only saw him briefly, they were in love. Though his doctors only gave Max a 50/50 chance of survival, he quickly proved to be strong and resilient! After 10 days of life, Max under went a PDA ligation, which ended with the need for a chest tube as his lung was nicked. He persevered and had it out within 10 days. Max spent about 8 weeks on the ventilator as he grew bigger by the day. After an unsuccessful try, Max received steroids to help get onto cpap, and quickly to only a nasal cannula. About 2 months after Max’s PDA ligation, his mommy noticed an area on the incision that looked yucky, Max ended up having an infection, but by the graces of God it did not end up in his blood stream. Again, Max fought hard and healed quickly. During his stay in the NICU, Max’s mommy and daddy got in all the kangaroo care they could. They made sure to learn and ask many questions about Max’s needs. The nurses even let them do all of Max’s care, he loved it when his mommy and daddy gave him baths and changed his diapers. Max didn’t like when his mommy dressed him in all his tiny outfits from friends and family, but his mommy and daddy thought he looked so cute! About a week before his discharge home, Max had to have laser eye surgery for stage 3 Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). Once again, he stunned us all with his strength and resilience. On February 9, 2013 Max came home, and he hasn’t looked back. Though he has had to go into the hospital for a second laser eye surgery, and other same day procedures, Miracle Max has been happy, healthy and handsome! His mommy and daddy couldn’t be more blessed to have such an amazing little man.

Super Hero Characteristics:

Strong, Happy, Healthy and Lovable.

Wonder Bella

Isabella D. ~ Super Hero Alias: Wonder Bella

Isabella DAge: 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!

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The Great Warrior… Andreas

Andreas C. ~ Super Hero Alias: The Great Warrior…Andreas

Andreas CAge: 2.5 years
Weight at Birth: 13.07 ounces
Weeks Gestation: 24 weeks
Time in the NICU: 163 days

Diagnosis, complications, surgeries?

Andrew was born because I had severe preeclampsia. He was 24 weeks gestation but was the size of a 21 week gestation. Andrew had a 5% chance of survival and 25% chance without medical conditions. At two weeks of age, he had to have a PDA ligation surgery. The doctors gave us a list of things that would and could be wrong with him. Andrew spent 163 days in the NICU.

Why should your child be recognized as “Preemie of the Year”?

Andrew is our super hero that God sent from above. He has met so many different trials and given so many obstacles to not survive and triumph over all negative given to him. He was 13.07 ounces and the size of a pen. Everything that the doctors told us was wrong with him, he overcame and conquered.
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Jackson the Gladiator

NICU Reunion, Family Celebration, Hand to Hold Birthday, Photo Contest

Jackson S. ~ Super Hero Alias: Jackson the Gladiator

Jackson SAge: 4 years
Weight at Birth: 1 lb, 15 ounces
Weeks Gestation: 25 weeks
Time in the NICU: 85 days

Diagnosis, complications, surgeries?
Incompetent cervix, PDA Ligation surgery, numerous infections within the first 3 weeks, over 10 blood transfusions.

Why should your child be recognized as “Preemie of the Year”?

Our Little, Little Gladiator was born at 25 weeks gestation. During the battle to survive, Jackson endured numerous infections. We had to collapse a lung to help it heal. Jackson was given not one but two rounds of surfactant and we started to run out of IV sites. Jackson received over 10 blood transfusions during his first three weeks of life and if it couldn’t get any more complicated… Jackson’s blood type is 0 negative. We thank God every day for Jackson’s ability to fight through all the odds that were against him. We also can’t thank everyone enough for their blood donations and the medical attention received. Jackson was on Nitric and Oxygen and ventilated for 9 weeks. Upon being released, Jackson is considered to have chronic lung disease (mild-moderate). However, this gladiator didn’t take the oxygen with him home; he left it in the NICU and chose to be released on an apnea monitor only. He also decided he wasn’t going to stay until his due date but wanted to be home for CHRISTMAS! December 17, 2006 Jackson was released from his 85 day stay in the NICU.

Jackson’s fighter instinct continued at home as he achieved the milestones we were working on with ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) such as crawling (12 months), walking (14 months) and talking at one month prior to his 2nd birthday which was when we graduated from ECI.

Watch out Russell Crowe, this Gladiator will take you on.

Jackson’s battle may have had a very rough start, but look at the little man now! This family is blessed to have their four year old boy with them. He loves to play with his brother, new sister and friends, read books with the family, go to parks and libraries and for the first time is able to go to “pre-K/mother’s day out program” and Sunday School!

Jackson the Gladiator has been mistaken to be a five year old by many due to his height….what a shock it is for people to find out that he was born at 1lb 15oz and 14 inches long.

Jackson the Gladiator like all micro-preemies and preemies have the strength of many just as Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “My Strength is as the Strength of ten, because my heart is pure.”
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Chloe the Conqueror

NICU Reunion, Family Celebration, Hand to Hold Birthday, Photo Contest

Chloe G. ~ Super Hero Alias: Chloe the Conqueror

Age: 8 months 10 days at death
Weight at Birth: 1 lb 8 oz
Weeks Gestation: 24 weeks
Time in the NICU: 211 days

Diagnosis, complications, surgeries?
Micro preemie, bowel rupture, PDA Ligation (open heart surgery), pneumothorax, colitis, multiple hernia repair, 3 bronchialscopes, nissen funduplication, g-button placement, compartment syndrome, abdomen opened and internal organs placed in a silo, 4 abdominal surgeries to close her abdomen, tracheostomy, 3 central line placements, multiple pneumothorax’s, multiple chest tubes

Why should your child be recognized as “Preemie of the Year”?
Chloe Elizabeth Gallaway was known to the Scott and White NICU as “drama queen” or “diva.” To us she was known as precious. Chloe survived more physical trauma than the Scott and White NICU has ever seen an infant endure and survive. Survive them she did! She fought her way to the PICU where she continued to make a name for herself. She was vivacious, filled with more tenacity than most people encompass in a lifetime. Chloe was determined to live, love, and be loved. Her 8 months and 10 days, though enduring 20 surgeries, changed the lives of everyone around her. She left an imprint on this world that can never be erased. Chloe is our hero. She changed more lives in a tiny amount of time than most people change in a lifetime! Chloe’s funeral was standing room only. There were more than 300 people in attendance. The stories told of Chloe by the Scott and White staff and other NICU familes confirmed what our hearts already knew about Chloe. She was special, one of a kind, and never to be forgotten! I believe Chloe should be the preemie of the year because she exudes the essence of all preemies, a strong will to live, love, and flourish in a body that was fragile, weak, and underdeveloped.

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