Families who have a baby being cared for in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) typically spend a lot of time in the hospital – an average of 24 days at American Family Children’s Hospital.
Typically, there are many steps along the journey of care before a baby is healthy enough to go home or return to the local NICU to feed and grow. Understandably, the days and nights often become a blur, making it hard for families to remember each stop along the journey of care.
Ashley Nelson and her husband Jason Phipps of Madison were settling in late on a September night in their birthing suite at UnityPoint Health – Meriter, hoping to get some sleep. About 19 hours earlier, Ashley had given birth to a beautiful baby boy, Leo, the couple’s second child. All seemed fine, and the family was planning to go home the next morning.
RN, a postpartum nurse, was nearing the end of her shift when she noticed that
Leo appeared greyish-blue – a worrisome sign that suggested his oxygen level
Amber Noggle was 20 weeks pregnant when she went in for what she expected to be a routine ultrasound.
Once the scan was complete, Amber got nervous as several more medical staff entered the room. The next words she and her husband, Dustin, heard changed everything immediately.
“We need to talk. It’s about your baby boy’s heart.”
Suddenly, Amber learned that the baby she was carrying had a rare, complex heart defect called tetralogy of fallot with pulmonary atresia. Babies with this defect have five abnormalities: completely obstructed blood flow from the heart to the lungs; a hole between the heart’s lower chambers; an overriding aorta; a thickened right ventricle; and abnormal pulmonary arteries. Major surgery is typically performed not long after the baby’s birth.
Watch a miracle baby’s first weeks of life through the lens of UW Health photographer John Maniaci
Miracles happen every day at American Family Children’s Hospital.
This sound-slideshow, photographed and produced by UW Health photographer John Maniaci, provides a raw, unfiltered window into one of these miracle stories: Baby McKinnley Murray.